1Paige Beanland & 1Scott Strohmeyer

1University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, Missouri

Pole vault is a highly technical track and field event where the athletes must decipher the precise amount of velocity and the correct take-off angle needed to generate a successful vault. PURPOSE: The aim of this case study was to compare the mechanics of two Division II underclassmen: one male and one female pole vaulter. METHODS: Data were collected using eight infrared cameras. The parameters of 2nd to final step velocity, final step velocity, velocity at pole plant, pole angle for each respective step, pole angle at take-off, drive leg hip angle at take-off, and drive leg knee angle at take-off were measured. RESULTS: The male vaulter exhibited a higher 2nd to final step velocity (5.233m/s vs 3.829m/s), higher final step velocity (4.359m/s vs 4.136m/s), higher pole plant velocity (4.646m/s vs 3.092m/s) than the female vaulter. The pole angle exhibited for the female vaulter at each step was lower than the male vaulter (-17.551o vs 5.241o at the second step, -32.215o vs -15.941o at the first step, and -37.262o vs -33.462o at pole plant). At take-off, the male vaulter also exhibited smaller joint angle at the hip (86.156o vs 152.814o). The female knee angle at take-off was smaller than the male vaulter (73.514o vs 86.317o). CONCLUSION: Differences in pole vault mechanics for two young performers at the Division II level are apparent. Training practices are relatively the same for the performers, but should this be the case? Could the difference in performance variables occur, as a result of differences in by height, strength, body composition, etc. Multiple sex-based differences were observed between the two pole vault athletes, emphasizing the significance of gender consideration in pole vault training to optimize performance.

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