- Associated Press - Saturday, July 18, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Lincoln’s entertainment district was jumping this weekend.

Canopy Street in the Haymarket was transformed Saturday into a pole vaulting strip, and some of the area’s top vaulters were in the state’s capital city to compete in a daylong pole vaulting challenge, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (https://bit.ly/1OmD4mp ).

The Canopy Street Vault was the brainchild of Lincoln real estate developer Will Scott.

“It’s something I thought would be fun, to help promote the sport and also promote the University (of Nebraska), and provide something unique for Lincoln,” Scott said.

Street pole vaulting is popular in Europe, and even some Nebraska communities, like Fremont, Aurora and Seward, have held similar events.

Scott said he saw his first street pole vaulting even in Europe, and was determined to bring it to Lincoln.

The turnout surprised organizers.

“I thought maybe we would have 20, 30 people,” Scott said.

But interest was so high, organizers had to cut off the field at 70 competitors.

The competition is simple. There are no divisions, classes or age groups. The bar is set at 6 feet when competition begins and is gradually raised to about 18 feet by evening, when the elite competitors are left.

The field in Lincoln’s competition included some of the area’s top high school vaulters, local college standouts and older competitors.

Organizers hope to make the street pole vaulting contest an annual event.

“I would love for this to become regional, something bigger,” Scott said. “The opportunity is here with the entertainment district.”

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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