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SJCC first female pole vaulter reaches new heights

Analicia Najera

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[media-credit id=5 align=”alignnone” width=”400″]SJCC first female pole vaulter reaches new heights[/media-credit]

SJCC pole vaulter Ruth Le Beau, 21, swings over the 10 foot bar during practice on April 4 to get ready for the Maurice Compton Invite at Merritt College.

During her approach, 21-yearold Ruth Le Beau sprints down the runway to deliver maximum momentum and correct position to begin the take-off.

As the pole slides into the back of the box, it starts to bend as Le Beau swings her 5 foot 11 inch frame up and over the 10 foot bar.

Le Beau is currently in her second season competing in pole vaulting and long jump in track and field for San Jose City College.

What makes Le Beau such an asset to the team is that she is the first female to ever attempt pole vaulting for SJCC.

“I think it’s tremendous that she started at women’s pole vault,” said pole vault coach Brandon Vance.

Graduating from James Lick High School in 2008, Le Beau had no prior experience in pole vaulting.

Le Beau had an interest in pole vault before college but James Lick High School did not offer it. She has been competing in long jump since the sixth grade.

Track and Field head coach, Dave Flynn said that since she joined, they have provided poles that cost nearly $400 to $500 each.

Due to the weather, Le Beau has not had many opportunities to compete, but that does not stop her from training to achieve her season goal of 12 feet in pole vaulting.

Before teammate Aaron Mednick joined men’s pole vaulting this season, there was only one pole vaulter. This made it difficult for her to compete since no one was here prior to this season.

“You kind of have to push yourself to improve,” Le Beau said.

She said her most memorable moment was last year at the Nor Cal meet.

“It was a four way tie,” Le Beau said. “It was my last chance to get into State (championships) and I made the bar by 10 feet.”

Le Beau said her pole vaulting coach is a major inspiration, “he always wants me to succeed and he is a great coach.”

She might be unsure about the college she will be transferring to, but kinesiology major Le Beau said that she will most likely be pole vaulting and will definitely be competing in the long jump event.

Since her Sacramento State meet, her personal record in long jump has been a 17.11 and a half meters but is striving for 18.10 meters.

Since her appearance in 2010, Le Beau has improved in the long jump by one inch and six feet in pole vault.

“It’s very important for women to be leaders in something they haven’t done before,” Vance said. “It’s all about winning the State title and it’s all up to her to take it.”

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SJCC first female pole vaulter reaches new heights