Junior athlete raises money for pole vault pole

Kelsea Burns, Co Editor-in-Chief

All sports at De Soto High School are given a specific amount of funding for equipment and necessities. The sports teams are given a deadline by which they need to have spent the money. Unfortunately, this deadline may come too soon for some spring athletes including junior pole vaulter Janelle Clampitt.
“I was told that school funding for track had to be spent a couple weeks before we knew our weights for pole vault poles, and by the time we found out what we needed, it was too late,” Clampitt said. “The school had already spent the money, and they couldn’t buy me a pole.”
Pole vaulters use poles specific to their weight classes. The Kansas High School Sports Association requires athletes to use a pole “at or above the vaulter’s body weight.” If a pole is not available for an athlete’s specific weight, he or she would need to use a pole for someone who weighs more than him or her. In that case, the athlete would need to put more pressure on the pole to get the same results as he or she would if the proper size pole was available. It also might result in the athlete’s performance dropping.
This wasn’t an option for Clampitt, who placed first last year at State and hopes to get a pole vault scholarship to pay for college when she graduates. Clampitt decided to raise the money for the pole on her own. The pole originally cost $480, but Clampitt was able to get a discount which dropped the price to $400. Clampitt also had to pay an additional $130 in shipping.
“I had a few people recommend using the GoFundMe and just trying to raise funds to buy my own pole,” Clampitt said. “That way I can vault whenever I want instead of waiting.”
Clampitt was able to raise all but $20 needed to pay for the pole through GoFundMe. GoFundMe is an organization that allows anyone to create his or her own fundraising campaign online.
“It’s my pole now. I’ll end up using it, and I might take it home, and I can vault all year long. If I graduate, and I’m not the same weight, and I don’t use it in college, I’ll probably donate it,” Clampitt said.
Clampitt hopes to beat her personal record this season with the help of her new pole.
“I’m super excited for this season. I want to get 13 foot by the end. Right now I’m at 10-9,” Clampitt said. “We have a great team this year. It’s super cool.”