Pole vaulters put on great display of athleticism on final day of Grand Haven Beach Vault [VIDEO]

Local Sports Journal

GRAND HAVEN — Conditions weren’t great Saturday, but the competitors in the Grand Haven Beach Vault still put on an interesting display.

Former Grand Valley State University pole vaulter Kristen Hixson won the elite women invite by clearing 14-feet-one-inch. Her performance with fewer misses turned back Ashland University’s Katie Nageotte and Melissa Gergel of the University of Oregon.

All three cleared the same height, but Hixson, the 2014 NCAA Division II outdoor women’s champion came away with the victory on the misses rule.

Check out a few highlights from the elite competition.

On the men’s side, Josh Dangel, competing unattached at the age of 23, won the elite men invite by clearing 17-feet-seven-inches.

The next two vaulters both cleared 17-feet-one-inch, but Sean Young, formerly of the University of South Florida, won on fewest misses. Third place went to Drew Volz, of Bloomington, Ind.

Elsewhere, the day’s competition included all ages from under 14 years of age to masters level.

Jake Conn, 28, of Indianapolis, had the top masters/open performance by clearing 14-feet in the ages 25-29 grouping. Brian Finney, 34, of Canton, also cleared 14-feet in the men’s 30-34 age group as did Joe Brademeyer, 38, of Ann Arbor, in the 35-39 age group.

In the college men’s “A” division, Dan Emery, of Battle Creek, won by clearing 16-feet.

The oldest men’s competitor, Bob Root, 80, of Niles, won by clearing six-feet-six inches.

On the women’s side, Autumn Conn, 20, of St. Joseph, had the top performance by clearing 12-feet-six-inches in the 24-and-under open age group.

Dianna Noonan, 27, unattached, won the 25-29 age group by clearing 12-feet.

In the men’s mixed masters results, Finney won with 13-feet-six-inches while Gabriella LeRoux, who competed for Spring Lake High School this spring, won the mixed 14-and-under division by clearing 11-feet.

Deakin Volz won the high school elite boys by clearing 15-feet while Autumn Taylor took the girls’ high school elite title on fewest misses by clearing 12-feet.

All of the competition was held on the Grand Haven City Beach south of Grand Haven State Park.

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