Altendorf vaults M60 WR, dedicates jump to prep coach
Good ol’ polevaultpower.com reports another masters vault record. This one is by John Altendorf, whose jump was reported as 3.91 meters (12-10), bettering the the listed WMA world record of 3.90 by Germany’s Herbert Schmidt in 1971 (the oldest masters vault record on the books). John proceeded to dedicate his record to his old high school track coach, Al Miller of The Dalles, Oregon. “Without his encouragement, I would never have vaulted,” John writes.
The post said:
“It was an OK day warm but the wind was quite variable going from tailwind to crosswind to headwinds so one had to wait for a good wind or hope to be lucky enough to get a good wind while you were up.
“John opened up around 12′ then first set the American Record by jumping 3.84m – 12′ 6 1/4″ bettering the previous record of 3.83m – 12′ 6 3/4″ by 1 cm. As I remember it john opened up on a 14′ 145 at his opening height and cleared on his first then at the American Record he stayed on that pole and blew through. So he went up to his 14′ 150# and missed his second attempt at the record. He hesitated just a little and was a little bit under going from a 7 stride approach. So John did a very gutsy thing and since he felt like he needed a little more velocity moved his step back to an 8 stride approach for his third attempt and he cleared the record height easily.
“Then at the World Record Height if I am remembering this correctly John just came down and cleared it easily with room to spare on his first attempt.
“John then took three good attempts at 4.00m – 13′ 1 1/2″ and all three were close but John just couldn’t quite leave the bar up.
“It was great fun to watch John vault so well especially knowing how hard he has worked for this and how many injuries he has had to overcome to get to this point.
Then John himself checked in with his own description:
“It is a great pleasure to enter my 400th post on Pole Vault Power. I use this to confirm my recent 3.91m jump that bettered the 35 year old world record for men 60-64 held by Herbert Schmidt of Germany, set Oct 14, 1971. Although it is a pending record until ratified by the governing bodies, I trust this will occur.
“I dedicate this effort to my high school coach Mr. Al Miller of The Dalles, Oregon. He first approached me in 1962 to try out for track and specifically the pole vault. Because I didnвЂ™t learn very quickly, Al stayed and worked with me after practices. Without his encouragement, I would never have vaulted.
“I re-established contact with Al a few years ago at the State HS track meet. Since then we have written and I have visited him at his home and he looked me up at Reno pole vault summit. He was there to watch his grandson compete.
“In early March of this year, Al suffered an aneurism that almost took his life. He has been recovering, but very slowly. He has to re-learn how to do all the basic things we do automatically, including walking. For a man that was an active runner all his life, this must be extremely difficult. Although I have вЂњtoldвЂќ him about this WR jump through one of his sons (the current HS track coach in The Dalles), I donвЂ™t think he can currently understand. But I hope that he will progress in his recovery and some day this will bring on one of the big smiles he is so well known for.
“Thanks Al for getting me started in such a special sport.
“Thanks also, to all the great people I have met and worked with since taking up vaulting at the Masters level. This is truly a great community.”