Olympic hopefuls could hold event at facility | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Olympic hopefuls could hold event at facility

Steve Yingling

“If you build it, they will come.”

Building a ball field in the middle of a corn field attracted members of the Chicago White Sox in “Field of Dreams.”

A new track facility in the Sierra Nevada is beginning to get the attention of some of the country’s top athletes. The Community Youth Sports Complex isn’t even a year old, and some of the country’s top pole vaulters hope to stage an exhibition here later this month.

The Pole Vault League is in negotiations to hold a two-day event May 31 and June 1 in South Lake Tahoe.

Steve Morales, Lake Tahoe Unified School District facilities director, said that a final decision regarding the two-day event will made Wednesday.

There was a similar exhibition last month in Stockton, where the vaulters competed for $25,000 in prize money. The USA Track and Field-sanctioned events are staged to raise more awareness about the sport and help the athletes prepare for the Olympic Track and Field Trials in June in Eugene, Ore.

World indoor and outdoor champion Brad Walker, who has personal best of 19 feet, 8 inches, and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Stephanie McCann are some of the members of the PVL.

In addition to taking some of the world’s top vaulters to the area, The Pole Vault League brings music, DJs and spectator interaction to its competitions.

Morales said negotiations are for a $20,000 purse, with eight to 10 men and women competing on the first day, then the Olympic hopefuls holding a fee-based clinic for local vaulters on the second day.

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