Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

June 13, 2013

What's in the water? Pole vaulters lift themselves to spotlight

Among the long, rolling fields of south central Illinois' corn and soybean farms lies a hidden crop of newly-tapped talent. Flying well under the radar, the area has quietly gone about producing some of the most gifted athletes in the state.

Already boasting a storied history of basketball and baseball greats, these athletes aren't carving up the hardwood or unloading homers on the diamond.

For all the big-time ballers the Effingham area has produced, a new group has emerged. Make some room for the pole vaulters.

Blink twice, pinch yourself, do whatever needs to be done to check and make sure your eyes aren't playing any tricks. Area pole vaulters are —and have been for quite some time —solidifying the Effingham area as a hotbed of talent.

"It's really taken off," Newton boys track coach Todd Short said. "I think it's due to the thrill and excitement of it. You've definitely got to be dedicated, it's not for everybody."

Yes, the vaulters, those that hurl themselves toward the mat and lift impossibly high off the ground, only to squeeze over the bar by nothing more than the hairs on their legs to come crashing back to Earth. The unheralded daredevils of track and field are getting some love because, well, they deserve it.

You'd have to travel back to 2003, a full decade ago, for at least one area pole vaulter not to have qualified for the boys state finals. When Eric Mammoser placed seventh in Class 1A with a 13-foot, 9-inch jump back in 2004, he likely didn't realize he'd just kicked off a 10-year stretch with at least one area competitor reaching the final day of the season.

Since an Effingham area athlete has made the boys finals 15 separate time.

Text Only
Sports
  • Bierman.jpg Newton Post 20 falls short against Breese Gray 9-3

    While the District 23 title ultimately exceeded Newton Post 20’s grasp, their season will continue in Bethalto.
    Newton took on Breese Post 252 Gray for the Junior Legion District 23 title as the two division winners, but Breese’s bats proved too much for Newton in an 9-3 loss for Post 20.
    “The innings where they put some runs on us, we gave them some extra outs,” said Newton coach John Grunloh. “You’ve got to make the plays when you play better teams.”

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Barnes3.jpg Barnes' one-hitter boosts Post 120; Effingham beats Dieterich 1-0

    Ryan Barnes hasn’t seen a lot of time with Effingham Post 120’s junior legion team this season, but he showed up in a big way Monday night in a 1-0 win over Dieterich Post 628.
    The win kept Effingham’s season alive one more day in the Junior Legion District 23 tournament, as the post will face Salem Post 128 at 5:30 p.m. today for the district’s final spot in the divisional round. Salem Post 128 downed Mt. Vernon Post 141 1-0 in the West Division loser’s bracket, setting up the final with Effingham today.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mammoser2.jpg Newton Post 20 tops Effingham Post 120 7-5 late

    Most of the games at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament have seen pitching take control, but the pitchers in Sunday night's Effingham Post 120/Newton Post 20 game faced an uphill battle.
    While Brock Mammoser started the game for Post 20 on the hill and struggled, he came through with the biggest hit in the game, putting Newton up for good in a 7-5 win over Effingham.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Campton.jpg Dieterich Post 628 eliminates Teutopolis Post 924 3-2

    Errors proved to be Teutpolis Post 924's undoing against Dieterich Post 628, as Dieterich's sixth-inning rally in an 3-2 win were boosted by three Teutopolis errors
    To lead off the sixth, Trenton Poe reached on an error by Brock Bueker, and came around to score on an infield single by Ryan Radloff with a throwing error on Bueker. Poe was already on third when the ball went in the Teutopolis dugout, awarding Poe home to tie the game.
    Bryce McClain followed with an RBI single to score Radloff and put Post 628 up for good. Dieterich scored again on a Briar Schmidt groundout where first baseman Brant Bueker tried to get an inning-ending out at second, but the throw was wild and brought home McClain.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teutopolis, Deters down Altamont Post 512 2-0

    TEUTOPOLIS — Lucas Deters didn't get a ton of run support from his Teutopolis Post 924 teammates, but he didn't need much in a complete-game shutout, and Teutopolis ended Altamont Post 512's season with a 2-0 win Sunday afternoon.
    Deters' efforts at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament kept Teutopolis alive in the loser's bracket to face Dieterich Post 628 immediately following the win.

    July 21, 2014

  • Poe.jpg Two-out rally pushes Dieterich to win; Post 628 beats Vandalia Post 95 4-3

    Down one with two outs and Vandalia Post 95 ace Zach Schaal coming in in relief, Dieterich Post 628 had a tough task to keep its season alive.
    But down 3-2, Cole Hartke and Charlie Thoele laced back-to-back singles to score Briar Schmidt and Flach, respectively, to take a 4-3 lead.
    Clayton Campton held the lead in the seventh, striking out two and getting Post 95 in order to keep Dieterich's season alive.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jansen.jpg Late Newton rally downs Robinson 4-2

    Newton Post 20 rarely had an answer for Robinson Post 69's Brayden Burch, but thanks to a few key Robinson errors, Newton took their District 23 opener 4-2 Friday night.
    With the game tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Mitch Jansen led off with a walk, followed by Tim Weber reaching on an error by Robinson shortstop Zander Laino and a bunt single by Luke Geier.
    Mike Carr came through with a bloop single to center, scoring Jansen to put Newton up 2-1.Burch struck out John Grunloh and Joe Stone, but second baseman Cameron Neese booted a grounder by Mitch Bierman and two more runs scored.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kenter2.jpg Teutopolis takes down South Central 3-1

    Teutopolis Post 924 scored its first run two batters into the game and would never trail from there, holding off late rallies from South Central Post 519 to win 3-1 at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament Friday night.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Clausius (2).JPG Post 120 pulls away from Dieterich

    A pitcher’s duel between Effingham’s Will Clausius and Dieterich’s Charlie Thoele broke not at the plate, but on the mound.
    Tied 0-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Effingham Post 120 got its first run via a bases-loaded, two out balk. The lead would hold up as Post 120’s offense sparked, and Effingham beat Dieterich Post 628 5-0 in the Junior Legion District 23 tournament opener.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Rexroad.jpg Vandalia upsets second-seeded Altamont

    Altamont Post 512 never got the bats going, falling to Vandalia Post 95 5-2 in their Junior Legion District 23 tournament opener Thursday night.
    Altamont, coming off a trip to the state tournament last summer, was upset by Vandalia and Zach Schaal. Post 512 was the second seed in the tournament, but Schaal was up to the challenge for seventh-seeded Vandalia.
    He pitched a complete game, knocking Altamont to the loser’s bracket — where they battled their way out of at last year’s district tournament to make the divisional round. Altamont scored two runs late on an error by shortstop Matt Radamachier, but those were the post’s only runs.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

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.