(WINDSOR, ON) – High altitude pole vaulter Max Babits tied his last year’s record-setting vault of 5.15 metres to reign supreme at Friday’s Night Flight. Organized by the University of Windsor Athletics, as it has for the past three years, a strip of Ouellette Avenue between Park Street and University Avenue was closed off to bring pole vaulting closer to the people.
The runway was lined with tense fans, some ready to hold their breaths in the last few seconds, as the vaulters reached dizzying heights while wondering if they could defy gravity and exceed the height of the bar. Many didn’t but, that is pole vaulting, a sport of split metres.
In the men’s competition, University of Windsor vaulters took on ever higher heights until the 5.15 metre mark. It was exactly were Babits, the former Eastern Michigan University star, wanted to be and he didn’t disappoint.
For 12 years Babits, of Howell, MI, has polished his skill with considerable success and, if nothing else, has proven practice makes perfect by achieving a personal best of 5.60. The affable high jumper was in a class by himself, well ahead of second place finisher Jason Wurster at 5.00 and third place Taylor Stewart at 4.85.
Kristen Hixson and Alysha Newman took top spot in the women’s session. Both jumped 4.47 metres, well beyond last year’s top vaulter Robin Bone at 4.05.