The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

Howard vaulting to shatter track records

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Sophomore Bailey Howard has broken all school records in the pole vault event. She will compete at the state track meet on June 1.

Clear the bar. Make the landing. And Bailey Howard does just that. 

Bailey Howard is only a sophomore and is already making GRC Track and Field history.

Breaking all GRC pole vaulting records, Bailey excels in her area of the sport.

She participates in high school as well as an off-season track and field program. One of the top prep pole vaulters in Kentucky, Bailey will compete at the KHSAA State Track Meet on June 1.

Bailey started participating in this event two years ago when she took inspiration from her mother’s friend who now jumps at the University of Kentucky and also succeeded at this niche talent. 

“I mostly focus on pole vault, but at high school meets, I usually do other events,” says Howard. Not only does she excel here, but she even takes her talent with her to North Carolina. 

In August of 2022, Bailey attended the AAU National Junior Olympics meet and placed third in the country for her age group in pole vaulting.

She also attended the National Adidas Track and Field meet and placed fifth in the nation for her age group. On top of that, Bailey has also attended the National New Balance Track and Field meet.

Bailey can jump extremely high for her age, clearing heights that are almost equivalent to the deep end of a swimming pool. Her personal record is 11 feet, 3 inches.

To clear jumps this high, she has to tackle some intensive training on top of her schooling. “I go to the gym twice a week, and then I go to track practice every day, and then I pole vault twice a week,” says Bailey. 

Quite obviously, Bailey Howard’s schedule is jam-packed with sports and school. “I get some of my school work done at school and then sometimes on the weekends, I usually do a bunch of homework on Sundays.”

Her training stretches all throughout the summer as she perfects her form in this specialized event.

“It’s a lot about how you do it and not how good you are, so that’s why the coaching matters a lot,” she says. “It’s really a lot about form, but you have to be pretty strong to flip yourself over.”

Bailey says that the coaches greatly matter when it comes to pole vaulting; however, she also says the people are what makes the entire experience fantastic for her.

“I feel like I know all of the pole vaulters in Kentucky,” she says. “It’s so fun going to meets and seeing people that I don’t see except at those meets.”

Not only do the people in Kentucky change Bailey’s experience but as well as people all over the country. “At the national meets, I’ve met people there and then I see them at other national meets,” says Bailey, “It’s crazy to see the same people and see how they progress.”

Bailey Howard continuously blows Clark County’s mind with her pure athleticism.

Jumping high over bars set for herself in sports and the real world, proving to everyone how outstanding she is. Constantly pushing herself to new limits and impressing us all, Bailey Howard will always be claimed as GRC’s very own fantastic pole vaulter. 

Bailey Howard clears the bar at a recent GRC practice.


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About the Contributor
Rileigh Reed
Rileigh Reed, Multimedia Staff
On October 5th, 2006, the world was flipped upside down. For the better or for the worse (for the better obviously). Rileigh is a bubbly, kind, smart, loving perfectionist who values her friends and family the most in life and cherishes the small moments. She especially loves her mom, dad, and best friend, Ava Mardis, the most. Anytime she isn’t doing something at school, you can probably find her at volleyball, eating Mexican food, or driving with friends around town. She loves treating every event like a fashion show and staying up to date on all the latest Tik-Tok ‘it girl’ trends. This is just a sneak peek of the Rileigh Reed (if you want to know more, she’s probably at one of the local Mexican restaurants with Ava).

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  • T

    Teresa BurkhardtJun 2, 2024 at 8:47 am

    Outstanding young lady…sophomore…wow, time flies, and apparently, so does Bailey!

  • K

    Ken HowardMay 31, 2024 at 10:20 am

    I knew Bailey would push herself to do the best that she can be, and try to go farther love you Bailey Howard your Nana and Pappy are so proud