Friday, September 09, 2005

PVW - #0014 Bubba Sparks Interview

Bubba Sparks is a Master Pole Vaulter who has been vaulting in Master Meets since 1988.

Bubba first got the idea to Pole Vault when he saw Bob Seagren jump at the Sunkist Invitational on T.V. After watching the meet Bubba was in his garage looking for sticks he could use to practice with.

In High School Bubba vaulted at Waltrip & Scarborough High Schools and jumped 14'6. Athlete he remembers looking up to was Dave Roberts from Conroe High School TX, and trained at Rice University. (1976 World Record Holder 5.70 18' 81/4").

Beginning equipment: 2 poles 16' 190 & (12' 130 thermaflex) learned how to swing from the smaller pole.

Bubba attended Soutwest Texas State University on a partial Pole Vault Scholarship and jumped 15' 2 1/2" Freshman year. Bubba watched STEVE HARDISON win the NAIA National Outdoor Championship 16' 625". which was the motivation to get better for the upcoming seasons. Bubba went on to win the 1975 & 1976 NAIA Pole Vault Outdoor Championships. Bubba's PR in college was 5.20 17' 0.75" at the same meet Earl Bell set the World Record in Wichita 5.67 18.7.25

After a 10 year absence from vaulting Bubba met up with Coach Vince O'Boyle at UC Irvine to help coach college vaulters and have a place to train for 14 years.

Bubba was asked by Bruce Caldwell to assist as a Pole Vault technician for the Olympic Games in Atlanta where he spent five weeks working with athletes from around the world as they prepared for the Olympics. In 1997 Bubba won the Boston Indoor Nationals competed in Master's Championships in South Africa placing 3rd.

In 2005 Bubba competed in the National Masters Meet in Honolulu, Hawaii. Bubba palced 3rd in event 765 M50 Pole Vault (3.50 meters 11' 575") Bubba is also helping the Pole Vaulters at The Woodlands High School, Texas.

Links discussed by Bubba in our interview. Bubba's Web Page Bubba's PT at Home Age grading calculator.


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