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Bob Gutowski on a fiberglass pole.

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  • Bob Gutowski on a fiberglass pole.

    I have ever been a fan of Bob Gutowski. Was amazed watching him score in the 100, long jump, jump 15-5 in his pole vault win and a leg on the 4X100 relay in Occidental's dual meet with UCLA back in 1957.

    With his speed and athletic ability I wonder what he could have done with a fiberglass pole?

  • #2
    Given that people were starting to vault with fiberglass 3-4 years later, did he ever try?

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    • #3
      correction. I looked it up. He died in a car accident in 1960 That was probably just before people were beginning to seriously try fiberglass poles.

      I found another interesting item. Apparently, people were already starting to use fiberglass poles as early as 1956. The guy who won the bronze was using one according to this article.

      http://www.sports-reference.com/olympic ... vault.html

      further edit: Gutowski did use a fiberglass pole: http://polevaultpower.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4100

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Dave


        further edit: Gutowski did use a fiberglass pole: http://polevaultpower.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4100
        No, Gutowski used a metal pole. "a silver-hued, aluminum alloy Gill pole" when he set the 4.78 (15 - 8 1/4) WR in 1957. It sure looks silver in the T&FN photo.

        George Davies was the first to set a WR with a fibre glass pole in 1961.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Per Andersen
          George Davies was the first to set a WR with a fibre glass pole in 1961.
          I've often wondered how they evolved the plant and take-off so quickly with fiberglass. It's so different from metal technique.

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          • #6
            Dave...thanks for the research. But your polevault power link actually says Gutowski used a red US Gill pole.

            Per...thanks for confirming the Gill pole, albeit a different color.

            But, my main point in this thread was to remember Gutowski, his significant athletic ability and, with that, I think he could have been the best also with the fiberglass pole...if he hadn't been killed in that August, 1960 car accident, and, had continued vaulting for a few more years.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Per Andersen
              Originally posted by Dave




              George Davies was the first to set a WR with a fibre glass pole in 1961.
              And set in Boulder. The only WR set there.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lovetorun
                Dave...thanks for the research. But your polevault power link actually says Gutowski used a red US Gill pole.

                Per...thanks for confirming the Gill pole, albeit a different color.

                But, my main point in this thread was to remember Gutowski, his significant athletic ability and, with that, I think he could have been the best also with the fiberglass pole...if he hadn't been killed in that August, 1960 car accident, and, had continued vaulting for a few more years.
                Given that there were people already vaulting competitively on fiberglass in the early part of his world class phase, I suspect he could have made the transition.

                Did any world class vaulters successfully make the transition though from straight poles to fiberglass? An athlete would have had to consider it a significant risk at that stage of the career to make such a dramatic switch.

                Did any world class high jumpers change from the roll to the flop in the late 60s? That might have been considered an even greater risk.

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                • #9
                  Don't believe that the first fiberglass poles were "tuned" to body weight and grip height like today's poles. The original benefit was more in the light weight, carrying the pole down the runway.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dave
                    ...
                    Did any world class vaulters successfully make the transition though from straight poles to fiberglass? An athlete would have had to consider it a significant risk at that stage of the career to make such a dramatic switch....
                    Ron Morris is the first name that comes to mind: he was No. 7 in the world in 1955 and No. 8 in 1964.

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                    • #11
                      Morris was profiled in the August '64 edition and ewas cited as the No. 3 steel vaulter of all time (15-8 in '61) and No. 7 on glass (16-5 3/4 in '61).

                      He said of his technique: "steel vaulter using fiberglass pole."

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gh
                        Morris was profiled in the August '64 edition and ewas cited as the No. 3 steel vaulter of all time (15-8 in '61) and No. 7 on glass (16-5 3/4 in '61).

                        He said of his technique: "steel vaulter using fiberglass pole."
                        One reads a lot lately about the Petrov model borrowing a lot from the straight pole vaulters. There are some videos showing how close parts of Bubka's vault were to vaulters from the 40s and 50s.

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                        • #13
                          One thing this thread has brought to my attention is how the steel pole vaulting could be hard on the back. You had to be careful as the pole was planted and the jump started that your arms were bent to absorb some of the shock....shock that is greatly reduced by the bend of a fiberglass pole.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dave
                            One reads a lot lately about the Petrov model borrowing a lot from the straight pole vaulters. There are some videos showing how close parts of Bubka's vault were to vaulters from the 40s and 50s.
                            Except that in steel vaulting the pole is brought to the body at take-off and in fiberglass, it's not - that's significant. The rock-back is very different also.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gh
                              Morris was profiled in the August '64 edition and ewas cited as the No. 3 steel vaulter of all time (15-8 in '61) and No. 7 on glass (16-5 3/4 in '61).

                              He said of his technique: "steel vaulter using fiberglass pole."
                              Being super nit-picky here gh, but I think your " '61" for Morris' glass best is a typo.

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