23rd September 2021 — A talented athlete at Monmouth School for Boys has smashed his personal best for the pole vault and is ranked inside the top 10 in the UK and second in Wales for the under-17 age-group.
Fifteen-year-old Aharon Graham-Mulvaney cleared an impressive 3 metres 80 cm – and was incredibly close to 3:90 – as he clinched a very creditable second place in the pole vault at The Brewer Memorial Games in Cheltenham.
Aharon came into this current age group with a personal best height of 2:90 (set indoors 2020).
Following the disruption to Aharon's training due to the pandemic and injury, Aharon wasn’t able to start his competitive season until July, when he jumped his first personal best height of 3:23 in Cardiff during an open event.
Aharon’s heights continued to improve at every competition during the summer, with the most notable being a 3:50 clearance performed in London mid August– so it was a remarkable achievement from the Year 11 pupil, who has overcome a fractured foot that kept him out of action for two months this season.
Aharon is ranked within the top 10 pole vaulters for his age group in the UK - only one other first year under-17 athlete has vaulted higher than him this year.
In addition, Aharon is now second in Wales for his age group with a healthy 15cm gap between him and the next placed athlete.
Last year, Aharon was both the Welsh Indoor Under-15 and East Wales Indoor Regional pole vault champion and finished fifth in the English indoor Age Group Championship.
He has won Welsh and regional medals in other disciplines, including the 60m, 60m hurdles, high jump, triple jump and shot.
Aharon has also secured a bronze at the Under-17 Welsh Junior championships in August and a silver at the Welsh Under-17 decathlon championships earlier in the summer.
“It was a very surreal moment for us all in Cheltenham with the pole vault,” said Aharon’s mum, Lorraine, who coaches her son across the majority of his other track and field disciplines at Cardiff Athletic Club as Aharon has a specialist pole vault coach.
“With his personal best on entry to the competition being 3:50, Aharon chose an entry height of a very ambitious 3:30.”
The teenager had a couple of failed attempts at 3:30 and 3:40 but was very well composed after clearing 3:40 before equalling his personal best of 3:50 at the first attempt.
From that point onwards, Aharon cleared each height increment with first attempts to storm through to his competition final height and personal best of 3:80.
Aharon exceeded the maximum height level having used all four poles during this competition, but was determined to give the 3:90 bar a try. He took all three attempts at the 3:90 bar, coming very close every time, but needed a much bigger pole length to allow for the extra hand grip required to clear higher bars.
As Aharon moves to the upper age group next season, his specialist pole vault coach from the Welsh Pole Vault Association believes it is going to be very interesting in the UK championships and all the other competitions next year.