RAPID CITY,SD (KEVN) Teresa Vining says, ' He has been with me since since the end of his 8th grade year he came out for about the last month and when he started he was probably about half his size.'
and it's not only his stature that has doubled since Jens Christensen began pole vaulting.
Vining says, ' Well his first year he was getting about half that.'
Jens Christensen says, I've seen a lot of improvement and sometimes it just comes in spurts. At the end of my 8th grade year. I couldn't clear 8 feet and I'm going to 14 feet now.'
Christensen elected to try pole vault after spending the early part of his life involved in another sport that deals with vaulting.
Christensen says, ' I had done gymnastics a lot since I was really small this was just sort of a fun thing I did in 8th grade at the end of the year.'
Now as one of the leading pole vaulters in the state by clearing 14 feet Christensen knows he hasn't done it alone.
Christensen says, ' It meant a lot I've been working for this for a long time. I've had a lot of support from my coach and my team.'
For Jens to be one of the best vaulters in the entire state falls in line with what his coach saw for him.
Vining says,' I actually wasn't that surprised. I knew going into this season that he would be hitting some pretty high heights.'
To keep soaring to new heights the Cavalier junior keeps himself grounded.
Christensen says, ' A lot of times before I even get onto the runway I just think and calm myself down. I don't want to get too stressed out and ruin my steps or something. So I just take a deep breath and go.'
With state coming up in a few short weeks Christensen not only wants to be on the top of the podium for Class A, but the entire state.
Vining says, ' Really what we are hoping for is the gold medal. That's the top vault at state for all 3 classes.'
It's not just this year where Jens has lofty goals.
Christensen says, ' by the end of my senior year I want 16'2" which is a state record.'
Vining says, ' I wouldn't be shocked if he got it.'
Congratulations to Jens Christensen on being this week's athlete of the week. For Black Hills Fox Sports. I'm Jeff Voss.