Jackson Kutsche, the pole vaulting king


Courtesy of Benita Kutsche

Magnet sophomore Jackson Kutsche broke the previous school pole vaulting record to 14 feet and 7 inches after beginning as an outright rookie to the event his freshman year. Speaking about his recent break, Kutsche admits fear. “I was scared as I was going down because my form was off and I fell off the mat,” Kutsche said.

Haley Kish, Reporter, Photographer

NC Magnet sophomore Jackson Kutsche beat the previous NC pole vault school record by six inches, now setting the record at 14 feet and 7 inches, at the Kennesaw Mountain High School track meet on Tuesday, March 12. Pole vault, a field event in track where competitors sprint down the runway with a pole in their hand and bend the pole in order to launch themselves in the air and over the bar, has a dangerous history. Individuals hurt themselves frequently when competing in this event because of the high distances they launch themselves.

Kutsche became involved in pole vault his freshman year after his peers inspired him to become involved in track and field. Fellow vaulters, Magnet junior Tali Porter, and junior Andrew Thurman helped Kutsche throughout his first year by pushing him to his limits in the club, as well as practice.

In the beginning, Kutsche felt unsure about the event because of potential injuries, so before joining pole vault, he tried long jump and ran the sprint events. Taking part in the pole vault opened a new insight into the sport and helped him develop a passion for the event. He never imagined he would one day take the school record, but hard work and practice helped Kutsche improve immensely.

“When I first started doing pole vault, I felt unsuccessful and terrible because I believed that I was not performing to my best ability,” Kutsche said.

Over the summer between his freshman and sophomore year, Kutsche began going to a pole vault club, where he trained for the next season. Consistently going over the summer and throughout the beginning of his sophomore year helped him shock coaches and fellow vaulters when the track and field season began this year.

“The coaches and vaulters are very supportive. There is always hype music playing to get us in the mood. We have specialized pole vault equipment at our dispense and it allows you to pole vault whenever you can,” Kutsche said.

The day after beating the school record, Kutsche placed second in the Marietta High School meet after clearing 11 feet and 6 inches, suffering a minor injury of falling short of the bar and into the clamp box. With rumors of breaking his foot from the fall, Kutsche left from the doctors with simply just a bruise. The fall gave his coaches and family a scare, but Kutsche knew he could not end his sophomore year with an injury.

“When I fell, at first I didn’t realize what happened. At first, it didn’t feel that bad because of the adrenaline rush that hit me. After a few minutes, my foot was killing me,” Kutsche said.

After one week, Kutsche came back to practice with a perfectly healed foot ready to get back to vaulting. Kutsche now plans to beat his own personal record after smashing through the school’s record.

“Next year, I hope to improve on my technique and form since I already have the speed and the power for the event. I can’t wait to see what next year and the following years will bring,” Kutsche said.