Unorthodox jumping styles have Westminster Academy’s dynamic pole vault tandem of Karin Sastre and Jordan Mansour collecting titles while drawing looks of disbelief.
With Mansour belying the conventional one-foot take off for an extremely rare two-foot approach and Sastre swinging her off arm to generate speed instead of holding the pole with both arms in her run up, Mansour and Sastre were the talk of the Cardinal Gibbons Field and Relay Open on Tuesday.
Mansour, a first-year vaulter who set the school record 14-1 (No. 8 in Florida) on March 22, finished at 13-6 with no misses to win the title.
Sastre, meanwhile, didn’t need the 11-1 school record (No. 11 in Florida) she also set on March 22, settling for 10-6 to give the Lions a pole vault sweep.
“It’s kind of hard for people to grasp how Karin and I jump,’’ Mansour said. “She holds the pole in one hand and swings her other arm during the run up. I jump with a weird style. One of the other vaulters even came up to me today, talking about how I messed up because I jumped off both feet. I said “no that’s how I jump.” I guess you have to be different if you want to be good.”
Mansour’s unlikely rise with less than months’ experience has been a welcome surprise for a Lions team expected to contend for the Class 1A state title.
Mansour said he ditched the traditional one-legged takeoff after it yielded modest results in practice.
After dividing his time among football, basketball and golf, Mansour now sees the pole vault as his ticket to a college scholarship and beyond.
“Ever since I jumped 14-1, it has been serious,” Mansour said. “I want to be at 15-6 by states, this is my goal. That should win me states. Jumping off two feet is working for me. I get more power this way than jumping off one foot. I didn’t even know I was doing it. It just became so natural.”
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