First time’s a charm for Carlton pole vaulter

Carlton Comprehensive High School student athlete Tanner Soles posed for a photo with his two silver medals from the SHSAA provincial track and field championships held in Prince Albert on June 1 and 2. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

Tanner Soles decided to broaden his horizons when it came to the 2018 high school track and field season and he hasn’t regretted it one bit.

The 16-year-old Carlton Comprehensive High School student won a silver medal in discus at the 2017 Saskatchewan High School Athletic Association (SHSAA) provincial track and field championships. However, for this year he decided to branch out and add pole vaulting to his repertoire.

“I knew I was into throwing events to start with,” Soles said during an interview on Tuesday. “I was okay in discus last year. I placed silver again, but was like, you know what? I like Mr. O (Carlton pole vault coach Mark Odnokon) so I’m going to try out pole vault. I guess I was just really good and I just seemed to take off.”

The decision turned out to be a smart one. Soles not only took home another silver medal in Junior Boys Discus, he also won silver in the Junior Boys Pole Vault. Those efforts made Soles one of five Carlton competitors to win a medal, and one of only four athletes in the city to take home two.

The final result came as a bit of a surprise to the Carlton student athlete, since he didn’t really look at the final standings until the very end.

“I was doing pole vault and shot put at the same time, so I was running back and forth in the rain,” Soles chuckled.

“I was thinking, ‘I just need to conserve energy, running back and forth between events.’ When I found out I was second I was like, ‘wow, this is something.’”

Steady rain and cold winds added an extra level of difficulty for student athletes competing at Prince Albert’s Harry Jerome Track. However, for Soles that just made the final result even sweeter, as did taking home two medals in front of a hometown crowd.

“It felt really good,” he said. “It brings a lot of hometown cheer, to let my family and friends know that I placed.”

His success in his first year of pole vaulting has him thinking about competing in the indoor track and field season down the road. For now, however, Soles is happy to savour his success on the outdoor circuit, no matter how wet it may have been.

Carlton Comprehensive High School Medalists

Midget Girls: Emilie Cornelson (Silver High Jump), Gage Grassick (Silver 400m)

Junior Girls: Kimberlea Pfeil (Silver Pole Vault)

Junior Boys: Tanner Soles (Silver Pole Vault, Silver Discus)

Senior Boys: Nicholas Bardal (Bronze 400m)