Coach: Kym Simons
Occupation: Student - Bachelor of Human Movement, University of South Australia
Kurtis Marschall started the 2016 season with a best of 5.42m. In March 2016, he won the national junior title and raised his personal best to 5.50m. Shortly after at the open Nationals he again took and raised his best to 5.55m.
On tour in Europe preparing for the IAAF World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland in late July, he opened his campaign with a stunning 5.70m clearance while competing in Mannheim, Germany. It was the highest vault by a junior in the world for three years.
At the World Juniors in July, Kurtis placed second. He also had qualified for the Rio Olympics. The only junior in the Olympic pole vault field, Kurtis cleared 5.60m, placing 15th and missing a position in the final on countback.
He had a strong domestic season in 2017, equalling his PB (5.70m) and defending his national title. Selected for the world championships, he travelled to Cairns in June and raised his PB to 5.72m. In his Diamond League debut in Lausanne in July, he placed fourth, again with a PB of 5.73m, defeated a host of 5.90m vaulters, including the reigning world champion and potential 2018 Commonwealth Games rival, Canada’s Shawn Barber. He continued his impeccable form into the world championships placing seventh at the height of 5.65m and again defeated Barber, this occasion on countback. In the two biggest one-day meets of the year Monaco and Zurich, he placed sixth and fourth with heights of 5.72m and 5.73m. A key to his season was his incredible consistency with five jumps between 5.70m and 5.73m and big jumps when it mattered.
His form continued into the 2017/18 domestic season raising his personal best twice, initially to 5.78m, then 5.80m as he moved to equal fifth Australian of all-time. In February he won his third consecutive national title.
In early March he travelled to Birmingham where he placed an outstanding fourth at the IAAF World Indoor Championships with an equal PB of 5.80m. The height would have won a medal at the eight previous championships.
Australia has a strong recent tradition in the pole vault, but it has been seven years since an Australian vaulted these heights. Kurtis Marschall is coached by former national championship medallist Kym Simons in Adelaide. Pole vault has been the strongest event in SA’s history, producing and developing six of top-10 Australians of all time.
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A host of Australians are set to take to the track and fields of Monaco and London as the european season is reaching a crescendo.
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