Delaware Hayes High School track and field coaches Kevin West and Andy Graham expect junior Calvin Turner to become one of the best in the pole vault by next season, and they can thank Turner for not tuning into the History Channel for that.

Delaware Hayes High School track and field coaches Kevin West and Andy Graham expect junior Calvin Turner to become one of the best in the pole vault by next season, and they can thank Turner for not tuning into the History Channel for that.

"I just happened to see (pole vault) on television one day and it was an indoor meet (in the fall of 2006)," Turner said. "I said, 'That's pretty neat. You fly through the air and land on a mat.'"

The image remained etched in his mind until early last spring.

"I was in coach Graham's room and I saw this pole and I told him I thought the pole vault was cool and I wanted to try it," Turner said. "He laughed and told me to forget about it, that I was going to run."

But Turner persisted and Graham let him try it in practice.

"There wasn't a bar or anything indoors, so I get to the first meet and have never been over the bar," Turner said. "I was so scared, but I cleared 10 feet in the first meet. I had terrible technique, but it was such a confidence-boost getting over the bar and it's such a rush to compete in."

Last season, Turner had the help of graduates Emily Ballinger and Dylan Campbell. His season-best was only 10-6, but he was learning.

"Emily really helped me a lot and Dylan did what he could to help, too," Turner said. "I went with Emily last year to work with David Garcia, who coaches at Ohio State. Now, I've had a year of experience and I've also gotten help from some people at Ohio Wesleyan and things seem to be taking off."

The coaches have noticed.

"Last year was his first year in pole vault and his best was 10-6 and this year he started at 11-0," Graham said. "He's getting more confident and comfortable. He got a new pole (last Monday and cleared 12-6 last Tuesday), which is already two feet better than last year. He's only going to get better, and he's such a good athlete."

The 12-6 was good enough to win against Pickerington North last Tuesday when the Pacers won 108-29. Neither team used their top runners in the meet.

"His attention to detail makes him good in the pole vault," said West, who is coach of the boys team but specializes in throws for both teams.

"I personally think the pole vault is nuts. You go 10 to 15 feet in the air propelled by a fiberglass pole, try to get above a bar, turn upside down and fall onto a mat. You couldn't pay me enough to do that. Technically, it's the toughest event in track and field."

Turner is hoping the hard work pays off for him next season.

"I know Dylan went to regional last year with a 12-0, but my goal isn't to win the OCC or be a regional qualifier, it's just to improve and do my best this season," Turner said. "My biggest goal is to set the school record next year. It's 14-9 (by Steve Cyrus) and it's been on the books (since 1987)."

Turner is helping three freshmen in the pole vault. His versatility makes him an important part of the Pacers. He is also the top high-jumper, clearing 5-10 on April 15 against Thomas Worthington. He won against Pickerington North, clearing 5-4 on his first attempt before failing at 5-10.

Turner also has competed in the 400- and 800-meter relays, the 400 and the shuttle hurdle relay.

"He had never competed in hurdles before, but we asked him to do it (April 19 in the Richwood Relays at North Union) and he's always willing to do whatever the team needs," Graham said.

"He's a jack of all trades, but you can definitely count on him being in the pole vault and high jump every meet," West said. "He's not afraid to be thrown into any event. He'd go out and run the 1,600 and give it his all if that's what we needed him to do. He's confident in his ability and puts the team ahead of individual glory."

Hayes' Calvin Turner clears the bar on a pole-vault attempt last Tuesday. After a season-best of 10-6 a year ago, the junior already has cleared 12-6.

The Pacers' Reed Fogle heaves the shot last Tuesday during a dual against Pickerington North.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Delaware Hayes boys and girls track and field teams:

April 19 -- Boys: Finished third (78) behind Jonathan Alder (90) and Northmor (81) and ahead of North Union (43), Fairbanks (43), Olentangy (42), Elgin (41) and Bellefontaine (14) in Richwood Relays at North Union. The Pacers won the shot put (124-1), sprint medley (1:39), 400 (45.7) and 1,600 (3:35.9) relays; Girls: Finished seventh (30) behind champion Northmor (98) in eight-team field. The Pacers did not compete in five field events. They won the 3,200 relay (10:41) and were second in the 1,600 (4:32) and 6,400 (23:51) relays.

*Last Tuesday -- Boys: Defeated Pickerington North 108-29; Girls: Lost to North 63-58

Last Friday -- Competed in Wildcat Invitational at Westerville South

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Marysville

Friday -- At Gahanna Invitational. Last season, the boys were seventh (46) behind champion Gahanna (149) in a 14-team field and the girls (76.5) were runner-up behind Gahanna (139).

*OCC-Central dual