Arp pole vaulter heads to Jr. Olympics - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Arp pole vaulter heads to Jr. Olympics

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ARP, TX (KLTV) -

With less than two years of practice, Austin Jones has become one of the best young pole vaulters in the state.

"The first track meet, people were like, 'How'd you get so good,'" said Jones.

Jones received a little help from his dad.

"I'm not a very good carpenter," said Brad Jones.  "It took a while."

With plywood, two by fours, cinder block and a conveyer belt, Jones was able to give his son a pole vaulting pit in his own backyard.

"Not many people have a pole vaulting pit at their house," said Austin.  "It's helped a lot because I practice twice a week if not more."

It took his dad a month to complete the pit.

"You're limited at school with how much you can practice," said Jones.  "So I told him (Austin) I would build the pit if he would practice. So far he's lived up to his end of the deal."

With great results.  In his first national qualifier, Austin won the gold medal.  Now he's qualified for the AAU Junior Olympics next month in Humble.

"I'm nervous and excited at the same time," said Austin.

He's even surprised his dad.

"I told him I hope he could jump ten foot in the seventh grade," said Jones.  "He beat that by a foot. He's exceeded my expectations."

Austin says 11 feet is just the beginning.

"I think I can go higher," he said.

With a runway built for take off, Austin hopes to win gold next month. 

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