Curt Morgan on Eric Negley: ‘Vaulters have it so much easier’

Curt Morgan writes: “Pole vaulting, frankly, scares the hell out of me. I don’t want to be making my beginner mistakes eight or 10 feet off the ground. But M50 Eric Negley of Atlanta has an altogether different take on this event. ‘For most events, you run yourself silly, and your coach can tell you “Go back and run some more.” Vaulters have it so much easier, according to Eric. “You run 100 meters and then you get to lie down” (on the soft landing pit cushions). The wear and tear did get to Eric recently: He had had three vertebrae fused using six screws and a piece of his hip bone. “It took me eight weeks to recover, using a hard collar that I could remove only for showers and eating,” Eric said. “Lost most of my pectoral muscle mass as I was prohibited from lifting more than 20 pounds above my shoulders during the eight-week healing period. As soon as I took the hard collar off it was off to the gym to continue with the next phase of the recovery process.”

Eric Negley gives a vaulting tip to grand-daughters Braelynn and Kinslee.

Eric Negley gives a vaulting tip to granddaughters Braelynn and Kinslee.

Curt continues:

“As a result, I managed a comeback of sorts and finished 6th at Masters Nats in Olathe. Headed to Jacksonville Street Vault 8/16 to complete my outdoor season this year. Just two years ago. I guessed the recovery from that would be in terms of years.

“Nope! I was back vaulting inside two months. But I can’t handle college level training any more.”
I was never so impressed with the ad hoc coaching and mutual assistance as I was in the vaulting area at Wake Forest.

“We vaulters are like a fraternity,” Eric analyzes. “We all want to help each other out. Someone wins, of course, but the mutual coaching helps everyone to go for a P.B. And, we do have fun.”
Eric thinks he has solved the mystery of the (relatively) few thirty- and forty-somethings doing masters track.

“Just about everyone takes 20 years or so off from track after college. They have to! They’re raising their families!”
I get it, Eric! When the kiddies are finally out of the house, that’s when we all start trying to relive our high school glory days. I know that I am, anyway.

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August 5, 2014

3 Responses

  1. Bubba Sparks - August 5, 2014

    Great story about A SUPER GUY!!

  2. Ken Stone - August 5, 2014

    Next Curt Morgan story will run Thursday.

  3. Steve Rowe - August 8, 2014

    Thanks Curt and Eric for promoting the event for us Pole Vaulters. Eric proves that once jumping is in your blood, you do anything to get back to it.

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