Saturday, January 26, 2008

It's early in the year, but the best in the world is the best in the world. The highest pole vault by a woman this year was achieved this past weekend at the University of Toronto. I spent 44 minutes circling the infield where this happened to no avail today, but the results guy for the meet might have a thing or two to add.

Stuczynski, for what it's worth, is one of those people who are freakishly good at what they do but almost never found out. She didn't try pole vaulting until she was 22 (she's now 25). Her case still isn't quite as extreme as that of Elijah Lagat, winner of the 2000 Boston Marathon at the age of 34. He started running to lose weight at 26 and had run a 2:07 marathon within five years, less than a minute off the then-world record. So much for hurtling beer bottles at referees because they're getting in the way of your 8-year-old's NHL career.

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