The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

High School Sports

March 23, 2013

Carl Junction's Repsher wants to improve his vaulting record

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — On a rare spring-like day, Christian Repsher had a chance to see what he could do.

During a practice this month at Carl Junction High School, Repsher gripped a pole with both hands, raised it above his head, and started to run toward a pole vault pit that was missing its crossbar.

Repsher planted the pole in the vault box, hoisted himself skyward, then fell backward into the landing pit.

“He’s back,” Repsher said with a smile.

Repsher has reason to be excited. As a two-time qualifier for the Class 3 state Track and Field Championships, Repsher has his sights on going beyond the school record of 13 feet, 7 inches he set last year at the Big 8 Conference meet and again two weeks later at the Class 3 sectional he won at Marshfield.

“We do some of the best drills we picked up at college camps,” said Repsher, who participated in a camp for pole vaulters at Missouri Southern. “I’ve been to that one for two or three years now. They just give us new drills that we might not have thought of before.”

Repsher’s progress as a pole vaulter has prompted vaulters coach Chris Huhm to evaluate what might be needed to further assist Repsher and the school’s younger vaulters. Their first varsity meet is Thursday at the Carthage Invitational.

“We are friends with Webb City and McDonald County, so we can trade poles if we need to,” Huhm said. “He may be starting to push the limits of the equipment we have available.

“He’s starting to get to the point where he’s working on the end moves. It’s rare that I get to work on those with a high school athlete.”

Another piece of equipment that Carl Junction has acquired is designed to help their vaulters do just that.

“Mainly, it’s technique in the air,” Repsher said. “We got a new swing invert machine so we can apply it in our vault. Basically, it’s just muscle memory. You should start a foot lower and work your way up to a foot higher each year.”

As a freshman, Repsher cleared 12-6 in the sectionals and qualified for the state meet, where he cleared 12-6 again and finished in a three-way tie for sixth.

He twice cleared 13-7 last year, and Huhm has set what he believes is an attainable goal this year. “I’d like to see him do 14-6,” he said.

Repsher has worked toward that goal in the offseason by running on the cross country team and lifting weights as part of a strength and conditioning program.

“He ran cross country not because he’s an exceptional distance runner. He just needs to run all year long,” Huhm said. “In the offseason, he hit the weights really hard.

“He has matured mentally and physically. That’s probably the biggest change I’ve seen,” he said. “He’s about 1 1/2 inches taller, but he has started to fill out. He jumped all through the summer with the Junior Olympics and was a national qualifier.”

Another Carl Junction vaulter, junior Christian Pittman, who missed last season because of injuries, has returned and is providing Repsher with a welcome intersquad rival.

“He’s pushing Repsher and that competition really helps,” Huhm said. “But we’ve only jumped outside four times. We only have 13 weeks as it is.”

Text Only
High School Sports

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Tuesday that a tax cut approved by the Legislature could have a “cataclysmic” effect on state revenues to the tune of $4.8 billion. House Majority Leader John Diehl calls that “absurd.” Who do you believe?

A. Nixon
B. Diehl
     View Results

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
NDN Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security