BY DALSY TURNER
Track and field has been a lifelong pursuit for Ryan Stanley. Now he’s one of the nation’s top collegiate pole vaulters. Stanley is just a sophomore, but he’s representing Fort Hays State University at the indoor national track and field meet this weekend with a vault of 16 ‘ 11.5’, and extreme progress.
Stanley started track and field in third grade with an early passion for pole vault in seventh grade because he thought “it looked fun and not everyone was doing it.”
As a successful collegiate pole vaulter, Stanley does weights two to three times a week, with practice every day for several hours doing drills, sprints, and jumps. As a qualifier for nationals, he is hoping to do as well as last year when he placed fourth, or improve with a better height this year.
As an athlete, his goal is to “vault seventeen-foot, if not higher, by the end of the semester, and to place in the top three at conference and nationals.”
Ryan’s coach Randy Stanley is impressed by his improvement.
“It’s incredible. He’s improved more than any vaulter I’ve ever had in a short period of time,” Coach Stanley said. “Pole vaulters all get along, that’s just the way it is, we get along with everyone, it’s fun, we’re really competitive, and he fits right in. That Ryan’s a good guy, very friendly.”
As Ryan’s coach, Randy doesn’t see any barriers.
“I don’t see many limitations on Ryan. I know he has a vision of being in the 17’ club, but he’s got so much more in him. I don’t see any limits in him”.
Coach Stanley said that people have noticed Ryan’s energy and potential. One of those people being semi-retired olympian coach Rick Attig stating “that guy gets after it”.
Ryan Stanley is an athlete to keep an eye on, not only as a pole vaulter but also as a teammate. His determination is without a doubt a driving factor in his progress.
Stanley will be competing in Birmingham, AL this weekend, March 13-14 at the Birmingham CrossPlex. He is set to begin jumping Friday at 3:20 p.m.