Pole vaulters are some of the finest athletes in our sport. To be successful at the pole vault, you have to have core strength, focus, speed and a strong understanding of your discipline, Sam Kendricks has all of those skills.
In 2015, at his first World Championships, Sam Kendricks took ninth.
One learns from such experiences, and in 2016, Sam Kendricks took the silver medal at the World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon. During that indoor season, Sam set his personal indoor best of 5.90 meters (19'-4.25").
Outdoors, Sam Kendricks cleared 5.92 meters at the World Challenge Meeting in Beijing. He won his first Olympic Trials with a 5.91 meter clearance, and in Rio, braving the cold, Sam Kendricks added a bronze Olympic medal to his medal case.
2017 was even a better year! At the increadbly hot Sacramento USATF Championships, Sam Kendricks cleared 6 meters, becoming the 22nd pole vaulter in history to clear six meters.
In London, Sam Kendricks used all he learned in his undefeated 2017 season, and won the gold medal over Piotr Lisek, who cleared 5.89m, and Renaud Lavillenie, coming back from injuries with a 5.89 meter seasonal best. Sam cleared 5.95 meters, (19'6.25") for his global championship gold.
What makes Sam Kendricks so good? This guy lives and breathes the pole vault. But, more than anything, his focus and level of relaxation during the competition is unique. He is to the pole vault what Bernard Lagat was to the 1,500m and 5,000 meters. Lagat could hold his zone until fifty meters to go. For Kendricks, he seems to perform best when most is on the line. It is the experience of vaulting thousands of time, and taking one through challenging competitions.
But, perhaps, most importantly, it the positive affirmations that Kendricks gets as he continues to win competitions, against the very best in the world. He respects his competition, and likes his competition. Those are important for Sam Kendrick's success.
As he builds toward Birmingham for the World Indoors, Sam Kendricks will be jumping all over Europe before the World Indoors in Birmingham! We look forward to seeing Sam Kendricks and the stars of the global pole vault in Birmingham that first weekend in March!
Remember to check out www.wicbirmingham2018.com!