Riley Richards Nearly Misses Out on New Balance Nationals Due to an Equipment Issue


Riley Richards after his win at the Belton Big Red Invitational just two weeks ago. He breaks down his goals for the rest of the season including this weekend at NBNI. 

    Traveling across the country to compete can present a completely new set of issues that you don't normally encounter. For a Pole Vaulter, traveling across the country means storing your poles underneath the plane and hoping they arrive in one piece. While most Vaulters don't have any issues flying with their poles, Riley Richards wasn't that lucky.

    The beginning of the trip to New Balance Nationals Indoor to compete this weekend was going great until they landed. When the Richards family went to baggage claim to collect their luggage and Riley's poles, they encountered something you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. All of Riley's poles had been snapped. With only three days until the Pole Vault competition, Riley found himself in a tough place. Pole Vault Poles aren't something you can find in most sporting good stores, and they aren't cheap either. Even if they ordered pole's, they couldn't guarantee they would be there in time for him to compete.

    Luckily for Riley though, his friend and fellow vaulter, KC Lightfoot came to the rescue. He is going to allow Riley to use his poles during the competition. Even though they will be sharing pole's, KC and Riley will both still be fighting for that 1st Place Finish. Currently, Riley is ranked #2 in the Nation for Indoor with a height of 17-7, while KC trails behind him with his US #3 height of 17-4.25. Only time will tell us who is going to win this bout. 

New Balance Nationals Indoor Meet Page

United States High School Indoor Pole Vault Rankings