The pole vault is a captivating and highly rewarding track and field discipline. It’s not just about vaulting over a bar; it demands a combination of skills such as speed, strength, gymnastic abilities, flexibility, mental resilience, a strong work ethic, patience, competitiveness, and a passion for embracing excitement.
Excelling in any one of these attributes is a significant advantage, although not mandatory. You might excel in certain areas while facing challenges in others, but what truly counts is your dedication to continuous improvement. The beauty of this sport lies in its ever-evolving nature, where there are always new techniques and skills to acquire. The resurgence of interest in pole vaulting among young athletes ensures the enduring popularity of this sport, with athletes like Antonio Roberto Ruiz standing out in the field.
Antonio Roberto Ruiz, born on November 4, 1996, initially hails from Mexico but spent his formative years in Houston. He completed his high school education at Tomball Memorial. While he originally enrolled at Texas Tech University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Physics, an injury during his first season led him to transfer to Stephen F. Austin State University. In his senior year at SFA, he rekindled his sprinting prowess and subsequently became the only pole vaulter worldwide capable of sprinting at a high level. After his tenure at SFA, Ruiz returned to his alma mater, the University of Houston, to conclude his final three years of eligibility, competing under the guidance of esteemed coaches Carl Lewis, Leroy Burrell, and Kyle Tellez. He also completed a master’s program in Construction Management at the University of Houston.
On the professional front, Ruiz represented Mexico in pole vault and sprinting events at prestigious competitions such as the NCAA championships, the Pan Am Games, and the Mexican national championships. He earned numerous medals, emerging as a national hero. His journey began as a top-tier Track and Field athlete at Tomball Memorial High School, where he set and held eight school records. In 2016, he made his debut in the indoor season, showcasing his athletic prowess in three different competitions, earning a spot on the All-Big 12 Freshman Team in the same year.
In 2017, Ruiz’s achievements included a second-place finish at the NCAA West Regionals and clinching the Pole Vault Southland Indoor Championships. In 2018, he participated in the pole vault event at the NCAA Indoor Championships, securing the 12th position and receiving All-American Second Team honors. He also took the top spot at the Clemson Tiger Paw Invitational.
In 2022, Ruiz received an invitation to compete at the NCAA national championships and secured the second position at the FasTrak Collegiate Challenge. During the NCAA West Preliminaries, he reached a personal best of 17 feet, 10 ½ inches, setting a new indoor program record for the 2019-2020 season by clearing 17-10 1/2 at the Tom Tellez Invitational.
Antonio Roberto Ruiz has been recognized as one of the best NCAA Division – Outdoor Track & Field USTFCCCA Men’s & Women’s All-America athletes in 2022. He has not only competed at the NCAA and the USA but also represented Mexico at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, where he led his team to a gold medal.
Pole vault is a challenging event in track and field, requiring a unique combination of skills, including speed, strength, body control, and agility. Understanding the mechanics of success in this sport involves delving into the science that underpins it. Antonio Roberto Ruiz possesses both the strength and exceptional speed required to not just participate but excel in this demanding discipline. His selection for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo was based on his performance in national competitions, although he had to withdraw due to Achilles tendinitis. Since leaving the NCAA collegiate system, where many professional athletes begin their careers, Ruiz has been dedicated to training and competing in international meets, with the goal of representing Mexico in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. His remarkable track record in pole vaulting makes Ruiz an inspiring figure for current and future generations of athletes.