Rocket Man Pole Vault 

Outdoor Pole Vault training and meet facility  -  Mooresville - Lake Norman, North Carolina

 August 6, 2016

And so it begins....

Our UCS 2100 Pole Vault Pit, standards, base cover and weather cover are here!  We rented a big (BIG!) truck and drove out to Vault House in High Point, NC to pick it up on Friday, August 5th.  Then we set everything up in the lot and took dimensions on Saturday morning.  Thank you for sweating along with us, Cameron Carpentier (truck driver and hauler), Andrew Anastasio, Jonathan Lehe, High Point University PV Coach Scott Houston, and Coach Eric Richard (and me, Donna).  We did sweat, and some of us may have been a little sore, but OMG we had so much fun!  Check out the pics in the photo gallery page.....

About our UCS 2100 Pole Vault Pit:  With a unique rounded design, the 2100 has drawn raves from around the world. It exceeds all size requirements of the IAAF, USATF, NCAA, NFHS and has 22'4" (6.8m) of depth behind the plant box.  Read more here

Rocket Man Runways are the result of a collaboration with our own coach Rick and his many years of pole vaulting experience, and Velocity's design and engineering developed over the past 20 years in the athletic facility industry.  

This Rocket Man Runway, which Coach Rick calls a "game changer," will prove to be the new standard in portable pole vault runways. Without giving away too much proprietary detail, Coach says that, "no one in the world has what we have developed.  This will return the strike-force of the vaulter's foot with greater energy than (s)he applied.  The take-off section is of the highest modulus return (...) to achieve the most return of the impact force applied at take-off. It is totally weatherproof for outdoor and indoor set up! It is lightweight and stack-able when not in use. This runway is NOT a roll-out runway and will not elongate when the vaulter sprints down, pushing off to the next stride -- you can not have this feature in a roll-out runway, which creates a moving negative-direction energy loss (like running in beach sand).   I'm very excited about this and I know it would be what my father would want me doing*."  

Exciting events, clinics and meets which will take full advantage of this new technologically superior runway, and promote the fine sport of Pole Vault are coming to our facility, from beginner to Elite and every height in between.  The sky is truly the limit.  Stay tuned!  

*Coach Ric's beloved dad, Paul passed away in June 2016, and the reverberations of his loss are still being felt.  He was a truly energetic and passionate athlete and coach, very much like Coach Rick himself.  I had the immense honor of meeting him at Indoor Nationals in NYC's Armory in March of 2014, and it is easy to see why and how our own Coach Eric Richard became the passionate and energetic athlete and coach that he is, of which we are all the joyful recipients, and for which we are all grateful.  Godspeed, Coach Richard. 

Thank You

We often hear that it takes a village and nowhere is that MORE true than in Pole Vaulting.   The coaches and vaulters we now call "family"  have helped, supported, celebrated, cheered, and commiserated with us all, from the home-field practice to High Point's Vault House to JDL FastTrack to Pole Vault Carolina to KMR Athletics, The Armory, NC A&T, The Akron PV Convention, The Olympic Trials and beyond, we honor you, we salute you and most of all we thank you:  

Coach Eric Richard, Rocket Man PV

Coach Eric Morell, Vault House

Coach Scott Houston, HPU; Vault House

Coach Brian Riggs, KMR Athletics

Coach Jose SanMiguel, Pole Vault Carolina

Elite Vaulters Sean Young, Kat Majester,

     Aaron Unterberger, Austin Miller, Michael     

     Cyphers, Jill Marois

Elite Vaulter and Vlogger Shawn Francis

Coach Stokes, Lake Norman HS

Jeff George, NCMilesplit

Bill Kiser, Charlotte Observer

Craig Longhurst, JDL FastTrack

Greg Sheehan 

Liam Dixon and family

Joe Popek and family

Ben Finger and family

Carlos Neber Sosa Segovia

Jeff Tsang


Coach "Rick" Eric Richard

Master Pole Vaulter Coach Rick and his dad had a long-time dream to create together a pole vault family -- a community of exceptional people and products designed to bring to this sport the highest level of efficiency, safety, technical excellence ....and fun.  In May the Carpentier family offered up plot of flat land behind their office building, a place where we could put in a pit and have a local facility for athletes to come and practice on safe equipment.   We purchased a used USC pit from Coach Eric Morell (Vault House, High Point).  Coach Rick began putting his engineering ideas on paper for this new portable runway system, and began a collaboration with a friend, manufacturing and former vaulter Matt Broughton (Velocity Track Systems) to bring forth their visions.  Sadly Rick's dad passed away in June.  We carry forth our ideas and concepts for this facility and the state-of-the-art runway in Paul Richard's honor.  We know he would be thrilled!  


Bridgewater-Raritan East High School had the luxury of a volunteer coach, Paul Richard, who tutored Bill Lange and Eric Richard, who came to be known as the Flying Circus. Lange cleared 16 feet, 6 inches in 1980, still the state record. Eric Richard went 16-1 in 1981 and captured the gold medal at the Golden West Invitational.


NEW JERSEY OUTDOOR ALL-TIME POLE VAULT LIST, 16-1-Eric Richard, Bridgewater East


Read about Coach Rick's father in this August 30, 1990 article from New Jersey's The Morning Call


March, Coach Rick became Lake Norman High School's volunteer Pole Vault Coach, leading his son Justin to a men's school record (14'6"); taking teammates Cameron Carpentier, Patrick Sheehan (NC State XC and Track) and Abby Murn (Citadel) to a women's school record 8'6" and whipping up a frenzied desire among LNHS' athletes to become vaulters!   The Lake Norman team grew from 2 or 3 vaulters in 2013 to about 20  

today in 2016 when the men's team, whose talent runs deep, was named Number One Pole Vault Team in North Carolina by NCMilesplit.  


USATF National Masters Track and Field Championships  #4 Richard, Eric            M51 Mooresville, NC          3.80m  12-05.50


USATF National Masters Track and Field Championships   #2 Richard, Eric           M52 Mooresville, NC           3.80m   12-05.50   

Coach "Carp" Donna Lessel Carpentier

Former teacher. 
Interpreter, translator.  
Head Coach, Men and Women Cross Country and Track & Field (Distance, Mid-distance), 2012-2015
Asst. Coach, RMPV, 2016-present

'"My coaching philosophy is the same as my teaching and parenting philosophies: every child, student and athlete deserves to be included and to feel that they are an important member of their community.  The focus of our daily behavior is to provide a foundation for strong character and future accomplishment in every aspect of our lives; to create an accepting, supportive, and positive environment that engenders growth in each individual; to promote success and achievement while providing them with the opportunity, skills, knowledge, empathy and understanding necessary to become successful athletes and productive citizens."