Max Babits 15-7 (MI) Nephew of Paul Babits

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Max Babits 15-7 (MI) Nephew of Paul Babits

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:26 pm ... 90301/1006

Gladiators' Babits off to flying start - Fowlerville vaulter already over 15-7

• APRIL 29, 2009
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Not even Max Babits himself saw it coming.

In his first outdoor meet of the season, the Fowlerville junior shattered the school record in the pole vault when he cleared 15 feet, 7 1/4 inches at Haslett.

"I was pretty surprised," said the 16-year-old Babits. "I was just focused on making the bar."

To put the feat in perspective, that jump is currently tied for the 23rd best outdoor jump in the nation by a high school athlete, according to

In fact, after clearing a then-personal best 15-4, Babits specifically asked that the bar be raised to 15-7 in order to best a pair of 16-year-old vaulters in Texas who had both already cleared 15-6 this season.

He ran through his first two attempts at 15-7 before clearing it on his third try.

"It surprised me," said Bob Babits, Max's father and personal coach. "He jumped well indoors, but I was pretty proud of him. I didn't expect him to really have any good outdoor performances for a couple of weeks."

That's what makes the jump even more impressive.

Typically, numbers go down when an athlete transitions from indoor to outdoor competition. They must recalibrate their technique, taking into consideration weather conditions, sight lines and the like.

During the indoor season, Babits cleared 14-9 at Eastern Michigan University to win the MITCA state championship. He also competed in an open competition at Eastern Michigan in January and cleared 15 feet, beating many college pole vaulters, and cleared 15-2 at a MITCA meet at the University of Michigan.

Those competitions had him ready for anything as the outdoor season got underway.

"I was approaching (his first outdoor meet) as though anything could happen," Babits said. "There was a big tailwind and I was assuming 15-6 would be doable, but 15-7 would be great."

By jumping a personal best, getting the school record and finding himself ranked among the best prep vaulters in the country in his first outdoor meet, Babits will turn his attention to a couple of other lofty goals for the rest of the season.

"I would definitely like to make 16 feet," said Babits, who got into vaulting around age 12. "I think a reasonable goal would be the low 16s, maybe 16-6. The height is definitely the most important thing, but I definitely want to win a state championship."

Max's father, Bob, was an elite pole vaulter himself, winning the 1977 state championship with a leap of 14-11 while at Redford Union. He then went on to vault collegiately for San Jose State.

Bob's brother, Paul Babits, won the state title at Redford Union in 1979, clearing 14-7, then won the Ohio Valley Conference pole vault title while at Murray State in 1982.

Max said that while there isn't much back-and-forth between he and his father concerning who is a better vaulter at the same age, the rivalry between Bob and Paul, who runs pole vaulting camps in Indiana, continues to this day.

"He and my dad are always competing to see who is a better coach," Max said.

Fowlerville track coach Dan Coon isn't about to guarantee a state title for Babits this year, but there's no doubt he's one of the favorites.

"You don't want to start putting the pressure on yet, but he's in the running for it," Coon said, "You've got to say — if you were a betting man, he's the person you want to be betting on."

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Re: Max Babits 15-7 (MI) Nephew of Paul Babits

Unread postby swtvault » Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:11 pm

More to come from Max....he is really jumping well this year. Great Job Max!!!
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