Freefaller: Mount Si High's Jimbo Davis seeks the rush as vaulter, defender

Jimbo Davis, an incoming junior at Mount Si High School, won first place in the Pole Vault Men
Jimbo Davis, an incoming junior at Mount Si High School, won first place in the Pole Vault Men's Open division at the 16th Annual Alki Swashbuckler Beach Vault.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

This week marks a transition for Jimbo Davis.

The state-qualifying Mount Si High School pole vaulter is now switching gears as a corner on the Wildcat football team. That’s just a few weeks after the incoming junior won first place in the Pole Vault Men’s Open division at the 16th Annual Alki Swashbuckler Beach Vault.

Davis nailed a height of 12 feet, three inches, just under his personal best of  12 feet, six inches.

He’d already had a big year, making his first trip to the state track and field championships this spring as a sophomore. He recalls it as a fast, hurried, “cool” experience, and had an 11 foot, six-inch vault to claim 11th.

Davis traveled to state with Mount Si track and field head coach Greg Myers, who brings a disciplined work ethic and focus on fundamentals, pushing his athletes to do their best.

“That’s really gotten me to the next level,” Davis said.

This summer, Davis practices under the tutelage of former University of Washington vaulter McKane Lee. Weekly trips to Everett to train “has broadened my horizon,” the teen says.

He plans to continue vaulting practice this fall and winter, time permitting. His next goal is to break 14 feet.

Sky high

The excitement of Davis’ chosen event is in the approach.

“If you have a good plant, the rest is easy,” he said. “You don’t really feel it. It happens really fast.”

Davis must get his speed right and control precisely how he places his pole. The moment that he plants it, he knows whether he’s going to make it.

After that, he simply arcs himself over the bar, then enjoys the second or so of freefall.

“I like the rush,” said Davis, who also enjoys bridge jumping and cliff diving during summer trips to Lake Chelan.

By the way, “Jimbo” is not his real name (James Wesley Davis IV). But Jimbo has stuck since the day he was born, and is stitched securely into his letterman’s jacket.

His father is a vaulter, and his mom, Angi, went to state for tennis in high school. Jimbo’s angling to beat his dad’s PR.

“He’d love it,” Angi said of her husband.

Off the field, Davis prefers math over English, and is thinking about a career in real estate.

Davis is hoping to make a great season of memories with his friends on the Wildcat football team, and see state on the way. As corner, it’s his job to guard enemy wide receivers, “and not get beat too deep.” He took part in summer speed camp and is in the weight room every morning.

“Strength can always help you,” Davis said.

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