US news
2003 indoor

5th Nike Indoor Championships

March 15-16, 2003 at Prince George's Sportsplex, Landover MD

Boys Pole Vault

Tommy Skipper 17-3.75 !!!
Sandy OR senior Skipper and Chase Shealy SC earned roar after roar from the crowd in a series of clean vaults all the way to 17-3.75, where Shealy bowed out and Skipper cleared on his third attempt (below). Then, Skipper raised the bar to 17-7 for a new national record and thrilled the crowd in a different way. As he launched upward, his pole cracked with a rifle shot sound and flew in three directions, scattering onlookers. Since Skipper's good vaults all had several inches to spare, the record (17-6.5 Pat Manson 1986) seemed on the verge of falling. But it was not to be as Skipper injured his left hand when the pole broke and called it a day.


by Pete Cava and Ricky Quintana

By the time the bar reached meet-record height of 17-3.75 (5.28m), Tommy
Skipper (Sandy, OR) and Case Shealey (Cayce, SC) were the only vaulters left. Shealy and Skipper, the national high school record holder and the author of the nation’s top five prep vaults in 2002, were a study in contrasts at midfield. The dark-haired, brush-cut Skipper, clad in yellow and white, has the classic vaulter’s build: big biceps and a barrel chest.

Shealy, slimmer and topped off by light brown locks, wore a red. The South
Carolinian was already celebrating. His previous clearance of 17-feet had tied the meet record and exceeded his old PR of 16-10.75.

Skipper and Shealy missed 17-3.75 on their first attempts. But while Shealy
missed his final try, Skipper had a big clearance to claim the title --- and the meet record --- outright.

Skipper asked for a height of 17-7 --- a national indoor high school record --- then
surveyed the bar like a bull eyes a matador. Then he sped down the runway to rhythmic applause, planting his pole when a sound erupted like a large tree branch snapping. Skipper’s pole shattered and flew back toward the middle of the infield, scattering contestants and officials. One of the other vaulters retrieved a four-foot section of Skipper’s pole, holding on to it like a remnant of a broken bat that had flown into the box seats.

Officials ruled equipment failure, but Skipper was done for the day. And possibly
for a while. The pole’s explosion made Skipper feel like he’d been stung on the hands by a swarm of bees. In pain and fearing his thumb might be broken, Skipper walked off the infield.

“It just wasn’t meant to be,” he said. “Everything was going pretty good. My legs were tight all day. I was getting stretched out and I felt pretty good. I could really feel legs cramp up in the hamstrings. That’s kind of what caused the pole to snap.”

Of the injury, Skipper said meet medical staff told him his thumb was either
dislocated or broken. “It’s definitely dislocated,” he said. “I may have to get x-rays at home.”

In third place behind Skipper and Shealy was Chip Heuser (Louisville, KY), who
cleared 16-4.


names highlighted in blue qualify for DyeStat Elite 2003 indoor national rankings

C.F.P.I. Timing & Data 
         Nike Indoor Championships 2003 - 3/15/2003 to 3/16/2003          
                 Prince Georges Sports & Learning Complex                 
                            Landover, Maryland                            
Event 27  Boys Pole Vault
 Starting height is 4.35                                                  
 Progression is 4.50, 4.65, 4.80, 4.90, 5.00, 5.10, 5.20                  
    National: N 17-06.50  3/8/1986    Pat Manson, Aurora, CO              
        Meet: M    17-00  3/2001      Sage Thames, Frenship, Wolfforth, TX
    Freshman: F    15-06  1978        Bill Lange, Martinsville, NJ        
   Sophomore: R    16-09  1994        Jacob Davis, Orangefield, TX        
      Junior: J    17-03  1995        Jacob Davis, Orangefield, TX        
      Senior: S 17-06.50  3/8/1986    Pat Manson, Aurora, CO              
    Name                    Year School                  Finals           
  1 Thomas Skipper            03 Sandy-OR, Sandy, OR      5.28m   17-03.75
     4.88 4.98 5.08 5.18 5.28                                             
        O    O    O    O  XXO                                             
  2 Chase Shealy              03 Brookld-Cayce-SC, C      5.18m   17-00.00
     4.73 4.88 4.98 5.08 5.18 5.28                                        
        O   XO    O    O    O  XXX                                        
  3 Chip Heuser               03 St. Xavier-KY, Loui      4.98m   16-04.00
     4.88 4.98 5.08                                                       
        O    O  XXX                                                       
  4 Scott Martin              03 Jenks-OK, Tulsa, OK     J4.98m   16-04.00
     4.58 4.73 4.88 4.98 5.08                                             
        O    P    O  XXO  XXX                                             
  5 Brandon McFarling         03 A&M-Tx, College Sta      4.88m   16-00.00
     4.43 4.58 4.73 4.88 4.98                                             
        O    O   XO    O  XXX                                             
  6 Ty Barrington             04 Carroll-TX, Southla     J4.88m   16-00.00
     4.58 4.73 4.88 4.98                                                  
       XO    O  XXO  XXX                                                  
  7 Mitch Greeley             04 Northwestern-SC, Ro      4.73m   15-06.25
     4.43 4.58 4.73 4.88                                                  
        O    O   XO  XXX                                                  
  8 Andrew Park               03 Fairport-Ny, Fairpo      4.58m   15-00.25
     4.58 4.73                                                            
       XO  XXX                                                            
  9 Will Byrd                 04 Norfolk Acad-VA, Vi      4.43m   14-06.25
     4.43 4.58                                                            
        O  XXX                                                            
  9 Brian Webb                12 Great Bridge-VA          4.43m   14-06.25
     4.43 4.58                                                            
        O  XXX                                                            
 11 Daniel Brennan            04 Great Bridge-VA         J4.43m   14-06.25
     4.43 4.58                                                            
       XO  XXX                                                            
 12 Andrew Rademacher         04 Hickory-PA, Hermita     J4.43m   14-06.25
     4.43 4.58                                                            
      XXO  XXX                                                            
 -- Grant Bowen               03 Unattached-MI               NH           
 -- Graham Bockmiller         03 Miramonte-CA, Orind         NH           
 -- Clark Hayworth               Miramonte-CA                NH           
 -- John Scott Hartness       04 Franklin-GA, Commer        DNS         

Number of Elite performances: 12

Nike Indoor Championships


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