Pook elevates to win second place in pole vault event

Freshman track star Caleb Pook shines at the Mangrum Invitational.


Courtesy of Biola Athletics

Freshman Caleb Pook clears the bar.

Colin Twisselmann, Freelance Writer

Biola’s track and field team had a successful meet in San Marcos at the Mangrum Invitational on Friday, March 24, where freshman Caleb Pook snatched second place in the pole vault event.

Even more impressive is the fact that Pook competed and shone in multiple events. Pook placed second in the pole vault out of 14 competitors with a personal best of 4.25m and 12th in the 110 hurdles out of 18.

For Pook, being a versatile athlete also means having the expectations for things to be a bit unpredictable and the fact that “linear progression can’t be expected.” Instead, his times “usually come in random increases in heights as many little things can affect the outcome.”  Pook elaborated, saying, “Things like my mental state, if I just ran another race, what I’ve eaten, how much I slept, the temperature and especially the wind play a big role in my performance.” 


Pook impressively competes in multiple events that to some, may seem unrelated. With hurdles, a big part of it is form and technique that involves a lot of coordination similar to how pole vault is done with how both require “speed and power.” Pook also mentioned, “My training on the dive team has given me a great sense of air awareness and knowing where my body is and how to control it which has helped immensely in pole vault as well.” This is important because in the sport of pole vaulting, touching the bar leads to an unsuccessful trial. After three such violations at a particular height, the athlete is removed from the competition. 

When asked about how the community at Biola compares to high school, Pook said being at a public secular school in Seattle and being a minority in terms of his Christian values and then going to a school with people that “truly live out the love of Jesus” and helped him “feel seen and valued, regardless of [his] performance on the track.

Look no further than Pook’s 4×400 performance, which felt rough to him. The support from the team, however, was incredibly encouraging for Pook. Pook recalled, “When I finished I was greeted with hugs from virtually everyone on the team, they basically got in a line and all took turns hugging me while I was gasping for air.” Pook admitted he had not felt this kind of love from a team before during his time as an athlete. 

Pook and the Biola track team competed in the Mike Fanelli Track Classic in San Francisco from March 30-April 1, where Pook snagged second place in the men’s pole vault and scored 12th place in the men’s 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16:31. 

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