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Jenks Pole Vaulter Reaching New Heights

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JENKS, Oklahoma -

For Tommy Dial, every detail is like a ritual.

"Just bringing all you got down the run way," Dial said. "You're just focusing the whole time on your technique."

It's critical to a successful vault.

"If you're mentally weak, you'll never be good, you should just quit," Dial said.

And no matter how high you raise the bar, Tommy Dial's clearing it.

"The better you get, the further you get to fall," Dial said. "It's just a cool feeling."

Tommy's pretty good at pole vault. He's the top ranked junior and one of the top four in the nation, but he's showing signs of becoming a great. That vision, approach and dedication is an art form he's beginning to master.

"My sophomore year I quit football and really fell in love with the sport," Dial said.

ORU track coach and Tommy's father and coach, Joe Dial, was a medalist in the 1989 world championships. He says his son has the potential to surpass even his personal record of 19 feet 6 inches.

"You kidding, I'd love for him to break all my records," Joe said. "He's really only one year into it of just straight pole vaulting, so he's really doing good. I'm real proud of him."

The resume is adding up. He's competed in indoor national tournaments and recently, overseas in Taiwan.

Now Tommy's already proved he's capable of clearing 17 feet in practice but what he's trying to do now is get over 18 feet 4 inches, the Olympic qualification for 2016. And he feels in two years, he can pull it off.

"I mean, that's the ultimate dream to go to the Olympics and win an Olympic medal," Dial said. "That's really what I'm working for every day. For me it's a big motivation trying to be like him and fill in his shoes."

"We've got a couple years and he's just in the stage of really improving, so that would be great," Joe said.

For now, the sky's the limit.

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