Pole Vaulters at a glance

Compete and Repeat

Pole vault competitions usually occur one to two times a week, with occasional invitationals on the weekends.

For Alisa Galkin (10), meets are for both competition and socializing.

“For me, competitions are always exciting and a new opportunity to improve,” Galkin said. “While conditions are unpredictable and the pressure is on, I enjoy the thrill and [I] love reconnecting with friends from other schools.”

While competing is exciting, the pressure stays on.

“Competing can be very fun, but also stressful at these meets,” Weisman said. “There’s a lot … of overthinking when it comes to what pole to use, what step to go from, what bar to start on and how to beat others through strategy.”

Vaulting for Views

After only one year of pole vaulting, varsity athlete Brandon Moore (12) has not only reached a personal record of 14 ft. 1 in., but has also become an internet phenomenon, posting clips of his pole vaulting journey on Instagram.

“I decided to start posting on social media for fun because I thought, ‘Why not, it doesn’t hurt to post,’” Moore said. “And the longer I vaulted, the more content I had, and I decided to just keep posting and see where it led.”

Garnering millions of views on multiple posts, with one surpassing six million views, Moore now has more than 6,000 followers on Instagram.

“I am getting partnership offers from athletic companies and various athletes, who give me tips on how to improve myself,” Moore said. “I have had many people [direct message] me on Instagram asking about my vaulting and if I could helpthem and coach them too. I try to respond to all of them, but I can’t get to them all.”

Posting both successes and slip-ups, Moore’s content has earned him more than just viral online attention.

“People recognize me at school, pole vault meets and sometimes when I am just walking around,” Moore said. “[It makes] me smile and makes my day better.”

Falcon Family

Practicing for multiple hours every day after school, the pole vault team is a tight community.

“I would say I am very close to my teammates. I love to help coach them and train them,” team captain Joey Weisman (12) said. “And then outside of Torrey, I am very close to a lot of people in the vault community, on a state and even national scale.”

Galkin, the girls’ record holder in pole vault at TPHS and top-ranked sophomore pole vaulter in California, echoed this.

“I love spending time with people who are just as passionate about the sport as I am,” Galkin said.

Varsity head pole vault coach Kyle Brown is confident heading toward CIFs in the coming weeks. With invitationals approaching first, the team is healthy and “hungry for more.”

From SD to SB

Weisman began his career on the TPHS track and field team as a freshman. Toward the end of his freshman year, his coach encouraged him to try the pole vault. Now, he’s reached a personal record of 16 ft. 1 in. (3 in. short of the school record) and is headed to the University of California Santa Barbara to compete at the Division 1 level in pole vault.

“I’m very excited to go [to UCSB] as an athlete, but also a student because the school is such a perfect fit for me,” Weisman said. “They have a great track and field program, and I’m happy to be vaulting on the beach at a wonderful school.”

Photos by Anna Opalsky/Falconer

Previous post Staff Ed: The stories are stale. Our English curriculum needs new characters.
Next post Laurel Gonzalez: a tri-sport sensation