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National Pole Vaulting Champion!

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

An Interview with Todd Gurley, Pullet Supervisor

Thursday, May 27, Journey Gurley (Todd Gurley's daughter) won the national championship for the pole vault at the 2021NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Journey represented her school, The University of North Georgia, where she is studying Early Childhood Education and Special Education. There were 17 girls represented at the competition and Journey came out on top vaulting 4.25 meters (just under 14 feet). Journey’s personal best is 14’2.5”. For comparison, the world record for women is 16’5.5”. There has been a major progression over the last one hundred years. The first world record for women’s pole vaulting was in 1910 held by Ruth Spencer who vaulted 4’9”.

Journey has trained as a gymnast since she was four years old. When she reached middle school her parents started researching ways that she could utilize her gymnastic skills in other competitive sports. Both Journey’s parents were athletes during school and it was Journey’s mom, Brandy, who came across pole vaulting. When Journey was in middle school she began training with the high school team and her dad, Todd, became her coach. Todd taught himself how to coach by attending camps with Journey and taking notes, watching online clinics and YouTube videos.

Journey is a sophomore academically and has three years of eligibility left to compete at school. She has her sights set on attending a Division I school for her master’s degree and competing there. Today, her current record would rank her at number 10 in Division I pole vaulting. To give you an idea of this girl’s accomplishment, the Olympics’ qualifying standard for women’s pole vaulting is 4.6 meters (15’1”).

Congratulations to both Journey and Todd! What an amazing accomplishment! We are so proud of you!

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