Bell began pole vaulting last track season, when his coach and former high school second place state pole vaulter, Richard Reynolds approached him with the idea.
“I suggested pole vaulting to Jon mainly because he is an extremely coachable and patient kid, but also because he has this fearless quality about him, that I recognized through his skateboarding,” Reynolds shared.
Together, Bell and Reynolds set goals for the season and worked tirelessly on the basics of pole vaulting, progressing to more advanced techniques, and studying the films of collegiate and professional pole vaulters.
“Coach pushes me hard. He gives me extra work and drills, and while some kids may not like that, I am extremely grateful that he invests so much into me to make me the best athlete I can possibly be,” Bell said.
Beyond his success at pole vaulting, Reynolds is quick to praise Bell for his character and leadership ability.
“Jon is not only an incredible athlete, he is an incredible young man. The way he has taken the younger pole vaulters under his wing to encourage and mentor them has really impressed me,” Reynolds said. “He has taken the responsibility on himself to be the leader of this team, and I am very proud of him.”
Although the track season is over, Bell and Reynolds continue to work toward higher goals. Bell plans to qualify for and compete at the Junior Olympics in field events this summer, as well as try out for the Terrell High School Varsity Track team next year, which will require a vault of 12 feet.
Reynolds believes this is just the beginning for Bell. “I expect we will see Jon earning medals in Districts by his sophomore year, and very likely brining home a state title before he graduates.”
Congratulations Jonathan on this tremendous accomplishment and we look forward to your future success.