Skipper vs. Carrigan


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Skipper vs. Carrigan

Postby polevaultpower » Mon Jun 16, 2003 10:53 am

How high would Tommy have to vault to be as amazing as Casey Carrigan was in 68-69?

Carrigan competed in the Mexico Olympics fall of his senior year. He had a great shot at medaling, but got screwed over by an old rule that said if the pole went under the bar it was a miss (the rule was changed shortly thereafter).

Carrigan also made attempts at World Records while in high school.

The biggest thing against Carrigan is that the event was rapidly evolving at that time because fiberglass poles were so new. But 17-4.75 is still an extraordinary mark by a high schooler!

I am going to say 19' on the old pegs or 18'9" on the new ones for Tommy would put him in that amazing range. But that is just my opinion. Carrigan is my all time vault hero, so I may be a bit biased.
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Re: Skipper vs. Carrigan

Postby oldvaulter » Mon Jun 16, 2003 11:13 am

Casey Carrigan was an amazing vault prodigy. He was the first high schooler over 17', and he did that in his junior year (1968), the same year he made the Olympic team. The previous HS record holder, Paul Wilson, had raised the record more than a foot and a half, to 16'6.75" (I saw that vault in 1965 at Westminster High in L.A.), and I thought that record would last a long time. But along came Carrigan and raised the record nearly a foot before he was done (17'4.75" in 1969). Does anyone know how long Carrigan's HS record lasted? Who broke it? When? And how high? (Did anyone break it before the great vaulting of 1981 when Joe Dial took the record over 18'?

>The biggest
>thing against Carrigan is that the event was
>rapidly evolving at that time because fiberglass
>poles were so new. But 17-4.75 is still an
>extraordinary mark by a high schooler!

I would say that only knock against Carrigan is that he never went much higher. He did finally get 17'10.5" (I think) in 1975, but that's not much improvement over his remarkable HS efforts.

As for Skipper, he must be an incredible athlete. He was drafted by the San Francisco Giants to play pro baseball! He also throws the javelin pretty well -- his older brother Art still holds the national HS record in the event. Also, he had a serious injury which kept him out of action most of this season. (Though that may not have been really a disadvantage, as he certainly could do a lot of training while his hand injury healed, and he didn't get burned out from too much early season competition.)

Perhaps he'll still go higher this summer, but while I'm in awe of his great vaulting yesterday, he's got a ways to go to equal the truly great prodigies of the event: Jim Brewer, Paul Wilson, Casey Carrigan, Joe Dial, and Brandon Richards. But I'd put him in that class if he gets near 19'.

Barrier Breakers:

14' Jim Brewer (1955)
15' Jim Brewer (1957)
16' Paul Wilson (1964)
17' Casey Carrigan (1968)
18' Joe Dial (1981)
19' When do you think someone will get this?
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Re: Skipper vs. Carrigan

Postby oldvaulter » Mon Jun 16, 2003 11:21 am

>the truly great prodigies of the event:
>Jim Brewer, Paul Wilson, Casey Carrigan, Joe
>Dial, and Brandon Richards.

That's American high schoolers. If we want to include international prodigies, we'd certainly have to add Maxim Tarasov and several others.
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Re: Skipper vs. Carrigan

Postby polevaultpower » Mon Jun 16, 2003 11:46 am

>Casey Carrigan was an amazing vault prodigy. He
>was the first high schooler over 17', and he did
>that in his junior year (1968), the same year he
>made the Olympic team.

Actually he jumped 17' in September of 1968, so it was considered his senior year.
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Re: Skipper vs. Carrigan

Postby tafnut » Mon Jun 16, 2003 11:57 am

I was on the Stanford team when Carrigan was (as a very minor player), and he had other priorities than track. It was the height of the hippie days in the San Francisco area, and I remember he didn't look or act like any elite athlete I had ever seen. He was still an amazing athlete, though.
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Re: Skipper vs. Carrigan

Postby oldvaulter » Mon Jun 16, 2003 12:21 pm

>I was on the Stanford team when Carrigan was (as
>a very minor player), and he had other priorities
>than track. It was the height of the hippie days
>in the San Francisco area, and I remember he
>didn't look or act like any elite athlete I had
>ever seen. He was still an amazing athlete,
>though.

Model for Gabe Jennings, no doubt!
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Re: Skipper vs. Carrigan

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 16, 2003 4:26 pm

Has any high school kid ever had the balls to open at 17-1, like Skipper did at GWI? Let me rephrase that: has anyone ever had.... and been successful?
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Re: Skipper vs. Carrigan

Postby gh » Mon Jun 16, 2003 4:40 pm

It's no coincidence that in his days with the Pacific Coast Club he was known as "Spacy Casey." Last I heard (20-odd years ago) he had gotten religion and moved to Hawaii.
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Re: Skipper vs. Carrigan

Postby vaulter83 » Mon Jun 16, 2003 7:06 pm

Actually he works as a firefighter in California right now. He said himself in an article I read that in college he let himself get caught up a little bit and wasn't very focused. Going from Orting, WA to Palo Alto in the 60s would have a been a HUGE difference. Maybe would have done better if he hadn't gone to Stanford. Tried to make a comeback after college with the PCC but I think he got hurt again.
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Re: Skipper vs. Carrigan

Postby oldvaulter » Mon Jun 16, 2003 7:17 pm

Since we're talking about Casey Carrigan, I'll repost a comment from the "history" side of this forum:

17-6 Stubblefield 80
18'1 1/4 Dial 81 (+Duplantis 17'11 3/4 and Jenkins 17'10 1/2 same year)
18'2 Richards 85
18'2 1/4 Eschbach 99

This suggests that it was Stubblefield in 1980 who finally broke Casey Carrigan's record from 1969. Thus Casey's record stood eleven years during a time of tremendous progress in the event overall. It is a further illustration of what a prodigious record his 17'4.75" was in 1969.

Interestingly, the great vaulting of 1981 -- Dial, Duplantis, and Jenkins -- predates Bubka, and to this day there has been little improvement in the HS ranks. Tommy Skipper's record yesterday is still less than two inches better than Dial's mark of 22 years ago. What's happened to the HS pole vault? Was Dial's 18 footer in 1981 earlier than Vigneron's first nineteen footer?
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Re: Skipper vs. Carrigan

Postby miles » Mon Jun 16, 2003 7:42 pm

I think he was drafted by the Padre's ( like the 32nd round or something) but not by the Giants. I don't think he has even played baseball since he was a little kid so I guessed the Padre's were just taking a flyer to see if he was interested. Also I think Art Skipper was a cousin or Uncle but not his brother. Maybe someone else from Oregon would know for sure. Anyway I'm looking forward to seeing him vault at Hayward field for a few years if his grades are good enough to get into Oregon.
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Re: Skipper vs. Carrigan

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 16, 2003 8:06 pm

The late Art Skipper was his older brother.
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Re: Skipper vs. Carrigan

Postby oldvaulter » Mon Jun 16, 2003 8:57 pm

Article I read today said that it was the SF Giants who drafted him, in some low round, and that he was not planning to attend college, at least not this coming year.
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Re: Skipper vs. Carrigan

Postby oldvaulter » Mon Jun 16, 2003 9:41 pm

Another article says San Diego Padres, 37th round. But that he's never played baseball! Said he's going to train for Olympic Trials next year, and no specific plans after that.
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