By DOUG EATON
GTR Sports Writer
Tommy Dial is always looking to improve his impressive pole vaulting credentials. Competing at the highest levels on a national basis has made the Jenks High School senior’s name well-known in track and field circles.
Dial’s 2015 season has gotten off to an impressive start as he placed near the top in three national meets and dominated regular high school meets. He is currently ranked fifth among all high school pole vaulters by MileSplit, .
Dial, who was the Class 6A state champion last year as a junior, started his season off by traveling to the Reno National Pole Vault Summit at Reno, Nevada.
The Reno Summit is an annual congregation of high school, collegiate, elite and masters pole vaulters from around the country.
Dial tied for third place in the high school division with a vault of 16 feet, 8 inches, and was only four inches under the winning height.
Dial joined his Trojan teammates for the Oklahoma High School Indoor Meet at the University of Oklahoma at Norman. Dial captured first place easily as he cleared 16 feet, 3 inches to outjump the second place finisher by over a foot and a half.
Dial then received a special invitation to travel to New York City to compete at the prestigious Millrose Games, the hallmark meet of the indoor track season held at the Armory in Manhattan.
Dial cleared 16 feet, 4.75 inches to claim a tie for second place.
“It was awesome to participate at such a big meet and compete with some of the best high school vaulters in the country,” Dial says.
Dial followed that up with a third place finish at the Texas Relays by clearing 17 feet, 1 inch. The first and second place vaulters also cleared 17-1, so Dial actually tied for first but placed third based on the number of misses.
At the Owasso Ram Relays, Dial easily captured first place as he cleared 17 feet, beating his nearest competitor by nearly three feet.
At the 88th annual Kansas Relays in Lawrence, Kansas, Dial captured the meet championship as he cleared 17 meet. He narrowly missed at 17 feet, 5.5 inches, which would have broken the Relays record of 17-5 set by his father, Joe Dial, back in 1980.
Dial then topped his 2015 high school season with sweeping conference, regional and state championships/
His 17 feet, 2 inch vault at the Class 6A state meet broke the state meet record that he had set just at last year’s state meet.
Dial has his future plans firmly in place as he is already committed to compete at Oral Roberts University next year.
The head track coach is Joe Dial, Dial’s father. Joe Dial was a world class pole vaulter who set many age-group records, was the first high school vaulter to clear 18 feet and at one time was the world record holder in the vault as well as the American record holder for nine years. He spent several years pole vaulting around the world, competing many times throughout Europe and Asia.