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Ambiguous "Pole Vault Relay" Includes Many Poles, No Vaults

It's unclear what exactly is going on here. There seem to be plenty of spectators and official timing equipment, implying a track meet, and cheering, indicating competition. But there is no such thing as a pole vault relay.

If you haven't already watched the video, you're in for a disappointment: there is no actual vaulting. Rather, it's a bunch of pole vaulters running a track relay with their poles in place of batons. (Sprinkle in a handful of gymnasts and you'd get the fastest limbo competition in the world.) Pairs of athletes complete handoffs with a jousting-like motion.


Still, the competition is fierce. In the end, Seattle Academy comes from behind in the final straight to edge bitter rivals Mariner (Everett, Wash.). There is at least one incredibly awkward high five.

Whatever the stakes were, they've long been lost in the annals of obscure track meets. The participants themselves are all old enough to be on LinkedIn. But the video remains, a bright moment in history when vaulters refused to be relegated to the infield and took to the track with their poles. The world is the richer for it.

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