Recently MC’s pole vaulter senior Kyle Pater jumped a personal record of 16 feet 3 inches which is also the new meet and school record. Within only a week of beating these records, Pater is currently leading the state with a height of 16 feet 6 inches.
“I’m really close to beating the CIF record which is 16 feet 8 inches,” Pater said. “So I’m hoping I can beat the CIF record at 17 feet.”
Pater started pole vaulting his sophomore year of high school and wanted to join after his twin brother, Scott Pater, had done track his freshmen year. After going to the first few meets of Scott’s freshmen track meets, Kyle was instantly interested in pole vaulting.
“I was able to pick up pole vaulting pretty quickly because I did gymnastics for ten years,” Pater said. “Gymnasts usually make good pole vaulters because they have good sense in the air and great body control.”
After Kyle’s successful season last year, he had showed extreme potential as a pole vaulter, especially for being so new to it. His abilities had eventually caught the eye of the Air Force Academy.
“They started to recruit me after my junior year because I jumped 16 feet 2 inches and then after visiting them I committed a few months ago to pole vault for them,” he said.
The Air Force Academy will require some new adaptations for Pater, giving him little time to socialize during the summer.
“The Air Force Academy is like boot camp so you don’t have a lot of time to socialize during the summer. I leave for college June 27 and start boot camp from then until school starts a few months later. Boot camp isn’t something you can just walk away from,” he said. “You live it for the whole summer.”
This past summer, Pater trained and worked with 2000 Pole Vaulting Olympic Gold Medalist Stacy Dragila.
“I went to her camp and she wanted me to work out with her and her club team this past summer to help me prepare for my senior year,” Pater said. “It was a great experience for me because I got to meet some really cool people there as well as some elite vaulters and train with other competitive athletes from other schools.”
After several accomplishments for Pater these past two years, he feels good reaching the upper heights and is especially proud of his improvements from this past year.
Pater is hopeful he will continue to improve which will help him reach his goal of 17 feet by the end of this year as well as winning CIFs and states in the beginning of June.
Although Pater feels he has achieved many of his goals for this year, he strongly believes all the support he has received from family and friends has helped him tremendously as well.
“My family has been great through all of this because they are constantly checking the stats to see where other people are at and where I’m at as well,” Pater said. “My coaches have been super helpful working with my schedule and buying me new poles so I can improve as much as I can, too.”
With record-breaking heights, a committed path to college, and support from family and friends, Pater feels he can definitely exceed his goals as a Sundevil and as a future Falcon at the Air Force Academy.