Hamilton’s Schaffer, Tolsma set pole vaulting records

Walt Kaechele

The Ham­ilton track teams had little trouble with OK Green league opponent Byron Center in the Thursday, April 30, home meet.
The boys’ team defeated the Bulldogs 112-25 while the girls’ team won 95-42.
While both teams had good outings against Byron Center, the vaulters for both the Hamilton boys’ and girls’ teams had outstanding performances.
Ryan Tolsma and Jennica Schaffer both set new school records during the meet.
Tolsma broke the record twice once while clearing the bar at 12’10” and then finishing the meet with a 13’1” new school record.
Shaffer set her first school record in a previous meet with a vault of 10’3” and then improved her school record to 10’6”.
Pole vaulting coach Mike Davis explained the success the Hamilton vaulters were having. He said, “Both of these vaulters started while they were in the middle school. The middle school has an indoor pit and I would get text messages from them asking me when they could get in to practice and what indoor meets we could go to.
“They both are enthusiastic, hard workers who have set goals for themselves and are making them happen.
“They also work with me at my house. We have it set up like Mitchell from South Haven used to have his pole vaulting camp set up. So we get local vaulters in from all over and they work on things like bigger poles.
“You never know when you might have one of those days where you feel good and everything is working; that’s when the practice on the bigger pole will help a lot.
“We try to emphasis having fun, but keeping it safe as well that’s important to us. And when you have two vaulters like Jennica and Ryan working as hard as they are, you can see the results.”

For full story, pick up a copy of the May 7 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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