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Mark Haesly hosts summer pole vault camp

East Ridge pole vault coach Mark Haesly has coached for 37 years at multiple schools and hosts a camp during the summer for specifically pole vaulting. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 3
Mark Haesly, the pole vault coach at East Ridge High School, hosts a summer pole vault camp on Tuesday's and Thursday's throughout June and July at East Ridge High School. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 3
Alec Wittman will be heading into his senior year at East Ridge after winning the conference, section and state championships this past spring. Wittman attends the pole vault camps hosted by East Ridge pole vault coach Mark Haesly. Brian Mozey / RiverTown Multimedia 3 / 3

During the summer, most coaches will host a camp to allow players to come and continue practicing. Mark Haesly does just this, but focuses on particularly one event in the track and field sport.

Haesly has been coaching pole vault for 37 years at numerous schools, but currently at East Ridge High School. He's helped pole vaulters like Alec Wittman this season earn conference, section and state championships in the pole vault.

"I came to him not knowing much about pole vault and he's been able to teach me everything," Wittman said. "I'm just glad I have him as a coach."

Haesly shows his passion and love towards pole vault during the summer with his pole vault camp. The camp happens every Tuesday and Thursday from 10-11:30 a.m. at East Ridge High School, unless there's weather conditions like rain. The camp is also free because Haesly said he just wants to help each athlete.

Haesly said his camp is different each summer because the number of participants changes and each athlete has a different focus. He doesn't have much structure in these camps because he wants to have the athletes lead it the majority of the time.

He has a handful of skills that he can develop into each athlete, but some of these athletes aren't East Ridge students so Haesly wants to keep it broad. Then, each athlete feels like there's new information coming their way.

"Whether it's a couple of kids or a couple handful, I just want to make it available for students that might be interested in this particular event," Haesly said. "It's a fun time and my goal is try to make each person a better pole vaulter than when they came to the camp that day."

Caroline Eggert is one person that feels like she improves with each camp because she's learning skills she never thought of without Haesly's help.

Eggert is going into her sophomore year at East Ridge and she looks forward to Tuesday and Thursday mornings because it's a time to continue perfecting her craft and skills.

"It's such a relaxed environment at these camps that you don't feel pressure and you also feel like you can ask questions whenever something doesn't make sense," Eggert said. "It's a great time learning from a great coach."

Brian Mozey

I am the sports writer for the Woodbury Bulletin and South Washington County Bulletin. I'm a graduate from the Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Iowa State University and have always had a passion for sports since a young age. Whether it was watching or playing sports, I always knew sports would be in my career. I've been born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis and look forward to continuing to learn more about the Woodbury and Cottage Grove area throughout my time in this position. 

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