How Did I Get Here?
My passion for track and field started in high school when I got to watch my older brother pole vault and run hurdles. As soon as I was in the ninth grade, I started to follow in his footsteps. Before I knew it, we were both competing for the Bobcats at Southwest Texas State University (SWT, currently Texas State).
The honest truth is that all my recruiting from colleges was for football, but my passion and heart were on the track. I walked on to the track team as a freshman decathlete at SWT. During my time as a Bobcat, I was a three-time All-Conference Decathlete and two-time Conference Champion. I set a few stadium records and a conference record along the way to graduating with honors. I achieved my dreams in college, and the highlight of my senior year was competing at the NCAA Div. 1 National Championship meet in Buffalo, NY.
Always excelling at the technical events, I was able to lead my team to a conference title my senior year by a mere 4 points. My contributions were winning the decathlon, placing second in the open pole vault by clearing 16’3 ½” (the morning after the decathlon), placing 5th in the open javelin, and placing 7th in the open discuss (which, at 176 lbs, was quite an achievement). Head track Coach Don D. Hood said at the time, “In my opinion, Ben was the sparkplug of the track team. He gave everything he had. It was contagious. He was more than just your normal standout athlete – Ben was someone people wanted to win for.” I have the same passion for coaching as I did as an athlete, and I hope to make my passion contagious for many years to come.
In 2013, I was selected to the Southland Conference All-Time Outdoor Track and Field Honor Roll. So from walk-on to team captain, conference champion, and National Qualifier, I was able to live out most of my track and field dreams.
I am currently trying to reach another lifelong dream in track and field by opening up the first indoor Pole Vault and Throws training facility in the greater Austin area. I’ve been private coaching in my “free” time, concentrating on field events and hurdles. Many of my athletes qualify for State Championship meets, Junior Olympic and USATF Nationals, and last year one of my athletes signed as a scholarship athlete at a Division 1 school.
I have a vision of creating an environment in which athletes of all ages and abilities can grow as vaulters, throwers, runners, and citizens. My goal is to help each athlete achieve his or her potential, knowing the road map will differ a little for every person. I will never forget those who helped me along the way, and I will be forever grateful to them. I am well aware that the technical events need more time and coaching expertise than an athlete can get in the school system. I am here to bridge that gap. So, if you are looking for a place to work hard within a fun and positive atmosphere, whether you are 8 or 80, boy or girl, we will offer what you are looking for. I am excited to have this opportunity to launch Austin Pole Vault & Throws. We have lots of work ahead, and I look forward to the challenge of helping athletes reach their goals, however far or high they might be!
I am married to my high school sweetheart Angela, and we have two wonderful daughters, Ella 14 and Evelyn 11. I will never forget to mention my only son, my standard poodle Happy. Angela is busy working and chasing her passion as a Yoga instructor. My two girls are both dancers, and my oldest is also a synchronized swimmer. I hope someday I will be able to coach them on the track, but we each have our own passions. I’m committed to helping every athlete maximize the energy in his or her passion.