Howland’s Biggin shows no fear in the pole vault | News, Sports, Jobs

Correspondent photo / Robert Hayes. Howland senior Saylor Biggin competes in the pole vault Friday night at Austintown Fitch, knocking out a 9-08 to advance to regionals. In the spring, after an appearance at the indoor State meet, Biggin is looking to do the same on the road.

AUSTINTOWN — Of all the athletics events, it could be argued that pole vaulting remains one of the most intimidating and difficult sports to compete in.

Just volunteering to do a quick jump with a heavy pole, plant it and clear a barbell while flying towards the crash pad might scare some people, but for Howland senior Saylor Biggin, that fear never has. initially existed.

“My assistant manager (Michael Pollifrone), he recruited me because I was a gymnast in my freshman year, and I actually caught on really quickly, so I kept doing it,” Biggin said, who integrates her training in gymnastics with her. Event. “A lot of the form you have to do, upside down, how you have to get there, the bend. It’s a lot less scary than gymnastics.

Biggin stormed a 9-08 high on Friday night at Austintown Fitch in the Division I district meeting to punch a ticket to the regional round after tying with Falcons rookie Meghan Vadas. The 9-08 mark was a foot clearer than third and fourth place.

“It’s quite difficult, especially in the wind, it’s all about consistency and form.” said Biggin. “I need to control my steps, they’re a little weird today. I was either getting too far below or too far.

Like many field events, such as the discus or the long jump, there is a lot of technique needed to become a skilled jumper. This is an event where one misstep or small body movement could be the deciding factor between stepping over the bar or crashing into it.

In the end, it’s a game of thumbs at times, but Biggin has many parallels between what it takes to be successful in both pole vault and gymnastics.

That’s where jumping and jumping coach Jordan Fronzaglio comes in, as a former jumper himself, it’s about trying to hammer out some of the little details throughout a season.

“There’s the aspect of form and things like that, where like you’re running, if you’re fast, you’re fast, if you’re not, maybe you can correct your form, with the pole vault is a lot of technique,” Fronzaglio said. “As long as you know the technique, it’s like, hey, you didn’t do this, or you didn’t do that, and they’re like, hey, okay, I got it and it’s mostly settled.

“It even depends on your body position while you’re in the air, maybe where you’re taking off from, how fast you swing your feet, things like that. There are so many aspects of form that can go wrong with just one safe, but for the most part I’m lucky to have Saylor who very rarely will have anything seriously wrong, it’s is just a matter of steps on a windy day like this.”

These will be back-to-back trips to regionals for Biggin, but over the winter she qualified and competed in the state indoor competition, an experience that opened her eyes to the competition that actually exists.

“It taught me how many good vaulters there are in our area and our state. Ohio is one of the biggest for girls’ pole vault in terms of height,” Biggin said. Lots of self-confidence, I like competition. Here we don’t have much competition. I’m normally the last one standing, so when there’s someone else with me, it pushes me a lot harder than being the only one left.

Biggin also holds the school record in the event, his personal best is 10-06, crediting extra off-season indoor training with some of the best in the region to allow him to push his PR further and further. upper.

Fronzaglio did not jump himself, but studied the event extensively after competing in long jump and sprint events during his track career.

In a stadium like Fitch, he is able to train his jumpers and jumpers at the same time, with the two stations placed next to each other near the south area.

“It’s something I tell all my jumpers, it’s funny how similar they are in terms of the run to takeoff and how important that is,” Fronzaglio explained. “The basic aspects of keeping your chest off and getting your hips going and things like that, they’re all so similar.”

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