Up, Up, and Over!

May 18th, 2014 | By Gary No Comments

upandover

Imagine picking up a 15’ metal pole from one end, holding it up in front of you while your run as fast as you can for more than 130 feet, sticking the far end of the pole into a small box in the ground as you jump in the air, using the pole to propel you up and over a horizontal bar more than 14’ above the ground, and then letting go. Sound crazy? It’s called pole vaulting and it is what Levi Cummings loves to do.

A senior at Athens Christian Academy, Levi is a two-time defending state champ in the pole vault. When he tells people he is a pole vaulter, they usually say something like “Oh, wow, that’s crazy. I would never do that.” Levi doesn’t think it’s crazy. “I’ve been doing this since fifth grade and I don’t think it’s weird or dangerous,” he says. He also seems to have it in his blood. He has two older sisters who pole vaulted; his sister Cassidy was the first girl’s state champion. Cassidy was also Levi’s first coach, before he started working during the summers with Aaron James, the UGA pole vaulting coach. He loves training and going to meets over the summer with other kids who shared his passion. “I love the environment and atmosphere. It’s also fun to hang out with friends watch other people jump.”

Levi would like to see more kids try pole vaulting. According to him, “There are so many different aspects to pole vaulting. Some kids may be good in one area or another, but anyone can learn how to do it and be good at it. You just have to try it and keep working at and you’re going to figure it out.” Levi says it is also really a safe sport if you do it right and in all his years of jumping, he has never had an injury from pole vaulting. In addition to pole vaulting, Levi also runs the 4×100 and 4×400 relays for his track team, and he set a school record as a wide receiver with 60 receptions and 915 yards last season for the Athens Christian Academy football team. Levi will be playing football for Mars Hill College next year and will probably also join the track team. We wish him the best as he starts his college athletic career.

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