When the pit hits the fan

High winds recently launched the pole vault pit into the parking lot



Video cameras caught the pole vault pit as it took flight in 50 mile per hour winds, headed straight for cars in the parking lot.

Haley Campbell, Multimedia Editor

Friday, March 26 Bellwood was faced with high speed winds, and senior Lauren Young was faced with an entire pole vault pit on her car. 

“I was sitting in my car getting ready to leave, and next thing I knew the pit was on top of my car. All I remember is getting out of my car and running,” said Lauren.

What was thought to be a nice day, with a high of 78 degrees, only became a windy nightmare.

“I remember driving down river road and seeing trees and signs blown over,” said senior Malia Danish.

Nobody was expecting the wind to be as strong as it was. Right after high school when students were excused to go home at 11:11am, the pole vault pit, which weighs over 1,600 pounds, started to blow away. The pit blew to the fence around the track, which lifted the pit, allowing it to blow over the large fence surrounding Memorial Stadium.

‘We suffered a great loss, but we are very thankful that no one was hurt. This also happened at a few other schools that I heard of. However, I am very glad that we have students at Bellwood who helped get it off of the fence, some of which weren’t even track kids. I am very proud,” coach Jimmy Gerwert said. 

The pole vault pit was left with many rips, the straps that hold the pit down were ripped out of the ground, and the standards were left unusable. Despite the pit being almost completely destroyed, the pole vaulters are still using the foam aspect of the pit; however, coach Jimmy Gerwert had to bring in his own personal metal standards due to the Bellwood ones being ruined. 

Coach Gewert and the pole vaulters spent the entire track practice on Monday trying to piece the pit back together so they did not have to forfeit and give up any points in Tuesday’s meet against Bedford. 

The efforts of the pole vaulters did not go wasted. The team was able to use the pit on Tuesday, and earn some valuable points for the team.