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#1 Pole Vaulter in the Nation- Nico Zinsmeyer

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It may seem like an oxymoron, but one Lion on campus is SOARING. Setting the bar high- literally- 8th grader, Nico Zinsmeyer, set a goal at the beginning of the season to clear 14 feet in Pole Vault and he was able to accomplish that goal after a lot of training and preparation!

Nico started his track and field career here at SACS in 6th grade. He excelled at running, and often won every event. That trend hasn’t seemed to stop, Nico finished ISAL with 5 Championships: 100M, 110 Hurdles, Pole Vault, Long Jump, and 4×100 Relay. However, what he really is being noticed for AROUND THE COUNTRY, is his continued success in Pole Vault. In February 2017, Vaulter Magazine chose Nico as their Middle Schooler of the month. This is a nationwide publication that serves to honor those putting in time and dedication to getting better at this event. You can read the featured article here> Vaulter Magazine_Nico Zinsmeyer1.

To put in perspective what a great accomplishment 14 feet is for an 8th grader, if you compare that jump to last year’s TAPPS 4A high school State Championship, Nico would have tied for first place in the state. As it stands, Nico is currently ranked number one in the nation for 8th grade Pole Vault (according to We hope he can continue to set goals, work hard, and accomplish those goals meet by meet. Nico went into this outdoor season with a goal of 14 feet, and now that he has accomplished that, he is looking toward his next goal- jumping 17 feet before the end of high school and earning a spot on a college team!

Nico is one of many great pole vault athletes here in the LION family. Adam Craig(9th grader) and sister Abigail Craig (8th grader) along with David Caivano (7th grader),  Charylze Hemby (7th grader), and Leah Crawford (8th grader) are all great at Pole Vault, putting up great heights. The community they have built here at SACS is really something to be valued. They are continually encouraging and challenging each other to do better, but they also have taken athletes that have never tried Pole Vault and helped encourage them to join their sport! After all, Nico credits the Craig family for his start to Pole Vault; had they never encouraged him to come to a camp, he may never be where he is today! That truly is what we are striving for here at SACS- a group of kids wanting each other to get better, and rallying together to encourage others to join in and “just give it a try.” Nico says, “If you love to do something totally different, this is a good place to start.”

Although these accomplishments take hard work, great coaches, rallying teammates, and supportive parents (all of which Nico has), he truly knows his talents and abilities have all come from his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In fact, he only agreed to sit down for this interview if the purpose was to give ALL Glory to God!