Ageless Pole Vaulters Defying Odds in Helena - News, Sports and Weather

Ageless Pole Vaulters Defying Odds in Helena

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HELENA -  For Brett Bomar, Ted Polette, and Pete Smith there's one idea I think they can all agree on.

"Well you don't quit playing because you get old," said Polette, age 57. "You get old because you quit playing. So I'm never going to quit playing!"

By playing, they mean pole vaulting. All three of them are either past or approaching age 50, a little past your average pole vaulter's prime. But there's one real reason these three keep at it as they advance in years.

"Just to be out here with the kids," said Smith, age 49. "They keep you young! You're as young as you feel and if you're still out here with these kids trying to be doing what they're doing it makes you feel good!"

"The little guys that are just getting started, that's exciting," added Polette. "Their enthusiasm for the sport, and it just gets better."

"You feel the aches and pains a little bit more," laughed Bomar, age 49, "but it's just fun to get out here and be with these kids."

And even with the spirit that you're as young as you feel, that doesn't necessarily translate to training. All three of these ageless high fliers have had to work even harder to stay in shape as they advance in years.

"My secret is I'm a gym teacher," joked Polette. "So I get to work out with the kids and stuff. And I work out regularly so it feels good."

"We get out there about a week before this street vault and that's about it," said Bomar. "For the rest of the year you're just running and staying in shape."

"Just been kind of lucky," said Smith. "I work out, do crossfit Monday, Wednesday, and Friday so that helps me out a bit."

Luck may have a little to do with these three's durability, but the more likely factor is their hard work. But to them, it's probably not work. They're just "playing."
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