Argyle Middle Schooler is Raising the Bar in Pole Vaulting

Argyle Middle Schooler is Raising the Bar in Pole Vaulting

by Susan Neuhalfen

You’re never too young to set goals—just ask Argyle Middle School pole vaulter Caleb Murdock. Caleb saw an example of a goal setting page from former Argyle High School track star Spencer McCloud that his mother posted on Facebook and decided he needed to write his own goal sheet as he started his first year of pole vaulting. Not only did it help him achieve his personal best, it helped him set a few records along the way.

“He wrote down his goals at the beginning of the season and he reached every goal on his sheet,” said his mother LaRhonda Murdock who had shown him the Facebook post. “He even made a second goal sheet just for the district meet.”

Caleb was already a well-rounded athlete, playing football, wrestling and golf, when he decided to follow in the family footsteps and try pole vaulting this year. His father was also a well-rounded athlete, holding high school records in football and golf but when it came to going to college, he was offered a scholarship for pole vaulting. His father, Caleb’s grandfather, was also a pole vaulter.

Caleb was a natural. He had a few pole vaulting lessons two or three years ago but he wasn’t able to clear the bar. When he started under the supervision of Coach Tommy Ledford at Argyle, he had never competed nor had he had any experience except for those few lessons
years ago.

Coach Ledford suggested the Murdocks get outside instruction and Caleb has not only enjoyed it, he has benefitted greatly from it.

“He made it look easy from the first day,” remembered Coach Ledford. “He had a higher jump than the 8th grade district champion.”

In the 2016 Track and Field District Meet at Bull Memorial Stadium in Bridgeport, he took 1st place in Pole Vault and set a new personal record clearing 10’6. That won him a gold medal for UIL. He also reached his personal best by jumping 11 feet though because it wasn’t recorded, it won’t be in the books just yet.

Caleb’s next goal sheet will be to qualify for the Junior Olympics this summer in Humble, TX. Coach Ledford is confident that he will do well. However, other qualifying meets such as the TAAF Summer Games of Texas fall during other sports such as football camp, and he’s not quite ready to give up his starting position. Either way, Caleb and his parents look at this as a great learning experience and will remain that way.

“We don’t want to pigeonhole him into one sport at 13 so we’re letting him make his choices,” explained his mother. “ We don’t believe in losing. You’re either winning or your learning.”


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