Six years ago when Carroll started their indoor track team, the biggest expense was the pole vault. All the equipment totaled around $35,000 for five vaulters.
"Then athletic director Bruce Parker is a big track guy," said Harry Clark. "He loves tracks. He was all for it."
The highest cost was the $25,000 pit, but Carroll didn't pay the entire expense up front.
"We have a loan system with Carroll that let us pay it off over seven to 10 years," Clark said.
Parents also helped. One built the runaway, which saved the Saints $5,000. Unlike pits, indoor runaways cannot be used outside.
"That's one of the big expenses," Clark said, "and one of the big reasons a lot of schools can't handle it for indoor vaulting."
Poles represent the third highest expense. Poles vary in length, weight and flex. They also differ for men and women. Each pole's average cost $550. Carroll owns close to 30 poles.
"It's not like one pole fits all," Clark said. "It's one pole per person individually."
After the program shelled out close to $35,000 for the equipment, they paid over $3,000 for shipping over the past six seasons.
"That was month's shipper," Clark said. "It was the slowest it could get here."
The investment paid dividends immediately. The first year after buying the pit, Carroll produced its first of three national championships. Not bad for a program only in its seventh year.>