Altitude Headquarters is a very friendly family run business. I come from a family with a very long history of pole vaulters that dates back three generations. Our intentions are to provide the pole vault enthusiast with a creative line of quality sportswear. Giving an identity to an event in track and field that will turn heads and help give attention to a very exciting event.
KELLY, STATE CHAMPION CHAD, 2 TIME STATE CHAMPION
SHAWN, (STATE PLACER)
PICTURE TAKEN IN 1974, IT SEEMS LIKE YESTERDAY!
WILLIAM BEAMER (DO YOU THINK HE NEEDS A LONGER POLE?)
I'M SURE HE IS FISHING AND POLE VAULTING IN HEAVEN
PICTURE TAKEN IN 1951
A DEDICATION TO WILLIAM BEAMER
I would like to dedicate this page to my father William Beamer. He loved track & field, taking a special interest in watching the pole vault. My father and I attended many state track meets together in his later years, always cheering on all the athletes as they performed. He was and still has an amazing influence on my life, thanks for all the great memories!
My father vaulted in the early 1950's for Bellevue High School (Ohio). Using bamboo poles and landing in sawdust pits were standard equipment used back then. One meet he picked up the wrong pole and broke it sending him on his back in the hard pit. He spent that night in the hospital packed in ice, losing mobility of his legs not sure if he would ever be able to walk again. A scary experience, he overcame his injury and continued to vault throughout his high school career.
My father introduced me to the pole vault in the third grade, in our back yard. He hammered nails into a couple of 2x4's and set them in the ground. He dug a hole for the box and put a rod across for the crossbar. He then pulled an old heavy stairway banister out of the garage for a pole. He demonstrated the proper technique of the pole vault and handed the pole over to me. I can remember it like yesterday; I ran to the box, planted the pole, and jumped off the ground. But the pole stopped as it was going to vertical just before getting to the crossbar, and I knew I was in trouble. So I dropped onto my feet when landing on the ground and started running toward my mother. Wouldn't you know it, that heavy pole hit me square on the top of my head as I was running. I was crying, my dad was laughing, so I ran into my mothers arms (Sandy Beamer). That was my first experience with the pole vault 44 years ago.
History repeated itself years later with my son Chad. He became the third generation to pole vault in our family. I held our school and league record for more than 20 years. An individual from a neighboring town broke my league record when my son was in grade school. I was fortunate to be in attendance when this athlete erased my record. I went home that day and told Chad that my record had been broken. Minutes later I saw Chad sprinting around the house. I asked him what he was doing, his reply "I am going to break his record." I could not believe what I heard from a young boy. I thought to myself 15'3" may be beyond your capabilities, that is high for a high school vaulter. But little did I know eight years later Chad went on to break that individuals record under very tough conditions. He also added two state championships and broke my high school record with a vault of 15"9".
My daughter Kelly ran track and played softball during her junior high years. She never picked up a pole or showed an interest during those years. I really thought she was going to play softball, a decision only she could make. I ran a pole vault club during the summer in our town in which area vaulters would attend. One day in the middle of the summer I came home from work knowing I had to get ready for the vault club. Kelly was all dressed up and asked if she could go to the vault club with me. I was totally surprised and had no clue why she created a sudden interest in learning to vault. She did not miss a session the remainder of the summer. I do not think it was because she loved to vault at that point. It was because of the attention she was getting from the cute guys attending our club. Amazing when I look back the motivation that started a successful career. The big difference between coaching my son and daughter was my daughter has a lot more switches on her control panel. I think every coach can relate to that. Kelly went on to become a state champion, breaking many records along the way including a state record. The times I have been able to spend with Chad and Kelly have been priceless and I would not trade it for anything. I have been blessed to have coached my children and the many others who share my passion”the pole vault". The memories and the journey to succeed for so many vaulters will stay in my mind forever. I am thankful to all those parents, coaches, and athletes who have made my experience with pole vaulting positive and rewarding. Only a pole vaulter or a pole vault coach really understands that passion, but my ultimate thank you goes to my wife Cathy. Without your patience and understanding, so many goals by so many vaulters, too many to name would never have been achieved. Your love for our family has made a major contribution to our children’s success, both on and off the track. I am very lucky to have the greatest parents, wife, and children to share this experience with. I only wish other vaulters with the same passion can pass on their knowledge and enthusiasm to other vaulters. Without a doubt pole vault is the most exciting event in track and field. My best wishes to all you vaulters out there and remember, never say I can't, always work hard, never give up, and "keep raising the bar" & have fun doing it!
I would like to thank three other important people who I consider my friends and part of my pole vault family. Alan Roark, a coach from Amherst Steel (Ohio) an old college vault teammate (BGSU) back in the 70's. He has put in countless hours at our vault club helping athletes from many different schools become better vaulters. Alan's passion for the vault amazes me, and I learn from him every time I am around him. From the bottom of my heart and all the athletes you have helped Alan "THANK YOU".
Last but not least I want to thank two wonderful ladies that helped me in the construction of this web site. Without their knowledge and help, this web site would not exist today. Sharon Neifer and Mary Porter have been a pleasure to work with and their knowledge of computers has helped make this site a reality. THANK YOU! for all your time, hard work, and patience.