Chris and Joey Uhle are co-record holders in the Pole Vault. They each vaulted 16-7, with the same number of misses, to tie for the win, and to share the OH state record. Chris and Joey are very competitive but have balanced that with encouragement for each other. No doubt this combination will lead to greater heights, and more fond memories, by season's end...
MileSplit.us: You are both over the OH state record of 16-4, with jumps of 16-7. How pleased are you with this accomplishment? Did you think it was possible to achieve for this season?
Chris Uhle: I am very ecstatic that we have come this far. Up until the day I cleared 16'6" my personal best was 15'6". I expected Joey to break the record, but I never thought that I would improve a full foot in one meet. I knew I had the potential to go higher but I thought I would do it in increments, not all at once.
Joey Uhle: I am more than pleased with our accoplishments, I'm thrilled! we worked hard in the off season so we had no doubt we would be vaulting well. It was only a matter of time till we started breaking some records.
MileSplit.us: How long have you been vaulting for? Who got into the vaulting first? Who beats who more?
Chris Uhle: We have been vaulting for about 4 years. Starting in 7th grade we went to 3 practices with our older brother Mike and just fell in love with the sport. We went to vault camp during the summer then repeated the process in 8th grade, during these practices and camps we learned the basics of pole vaulting. Freshman year during indoor season we had our first meet. Joey beats me more in meets, but so far I have always ended up with a higher PR at the end of the year.
Joey Uhle: Chris and I have been vaulting competitively for a little over 2 years, almost 3. We did a little bit of training on and off between 7th and 8th grade, going to a couple camps but not much. I win more often, but we are on and off a lot, it goes either way.
MileSplit.us: It is a unique situation to have twins competing in the same event, separated by a mere inch! Does it help having a brother in the house who you can relate to?
Chris Uhle: Yes, we both hang out with the same people and we are interested in the same activities. It's like being able to hang out with yourself. However, sometimes, like normal siblings we can get on each others nerves.
Joey Uhle: Of Course! We work out together, eat together, train together, we're always there to push each other. It's definatly a big help to have constant competition.
MileSplit.us: You both seem competitive when you are vaulting. Do you rely on each other for support when you are out there competing? Any good-natured competitiveness between you guys outside of the vault?
Chris Uhle: Every single meet. Most pole vaulters, when they get up to higher heights are just competing for a PR, but we always have that constant competitor. That is the best part about having a twin brother that vaults the same height as you. We compete in everything, not just the pole vault.
Joey Uhle: We're always there for each other. Everything we do we have to compete to one up the other, but it's always flip flopping.
MileSplit.us: Where do you see yourself at the end of the season in the vault?
Chris Uhle: The goal we set at the beginning of the season was 5.00M, now that our simultaneous PR of 16'7" is 5.05M, we've bumped up our next goal to 5.20M or roughly 17'. Personally I would like to knock out the state record at least a third time before the end of our junior year.
Joey Uhle: At the end of the season I see myself still vaulting, there is almost no end to the vault season, we're always training.
MileSplit.us: What type of workouts and training do you do to prepare for the vault? How much time is spent on technical aspects vs. strength work?
Chris Uhle: During the fall we strength train for 6 weeks, we work out with our coach and his twin brother for around 2 hours a day, 5 days a week. The workouts differ every day of the week but it takes relatively the same amount of time day to day. We work everything, core, legs, and arms. During the spring we lift periodically but most of our time is spent on the runway, fine-tuning certain parts of our vault.
Joey Uhle: We do lots of running and drills, including meets we take full vaults about thre or four times a week. We work a lot on technique, watching youtube to study from the best of the best, doing bubka drills. During the fall we do a six week strength workout 5 days a week for two hours a day to prepare for the next season.
MileSplit.us: Do you have a favorite workout that you enjoy? Why this workout?
Chris Uhle: During our fall workout, the final workout every week is Dips. We go until we can't do anymore. It's fun to see the improvement in strength from week to week, beginning to end.
Joey Uhle: Sit ups or dips, Chris and I are always competing to see who can do more.
MileSplit.us: Are you planning on going to nationals this spring? If so, what goals do you think you will set?
Chris Uhle: We have a few friends around the country who are planning on going, it would be cool to meet up with them again and vault at nationals with them. It all depends on what our schedules look like, our family travels to visit relatives a lot after school is out.
Joey Uhle: Yes we are. Chris and I always make goals after we accomplish old ones, our current goal is 5.20 meters which is roughly 17ft.
MileSplit.us: What has been your most memorable competition to date? Why does this one stand out?
Chris Uhle: My most memorable meet was districts freshman year. Joey and I were tied for first place so they made us have a jump off to decide the winner. after taking multiple jumps, we were both exhausted and our vaulting became sloppy. So we arm-wrestled to see who would be #1.
Joey Uhle: My most memorable competition was actually one this season when Chris and I both broke the state record. We both jumped the same height of 16'07" and had the same number of misses, we ended up tying for first.
MileSplit.us: What do you like to do with your time when you aren't competing or practicing? Hobbies? Activities with friends?
Chris Uhle: We hang out with our friends a lot. The pole vaulters from Delaware county (Bret Myers, Austin Hicks, Bobby Oliver, Michael Shibko, and Joey and I) are a tight knit group, so we all hang out from time to time.
Joey Uhle: When I'm not competing or practicing I'm working out, running, or hanging with friends. We never find anything to do but we are always completely content with going to the movies or hanging at the mall.
MileSplit.us: What role models do you have in T&F? Why?
Chris Uhle: My older brother Mike of course, and our coach Jason Schall. They both inspired us when Mike was in high school and they were very encouraging when we first started. Also, Jeff Hartwig, he was an amazing vaulter and when we met him at the Reno Pole Vault Summit he was an all-around great guy. (However, all the vaulters we met there fell into the that category).
Joey Uhle: Our older brother is one of my role models obviously, without him I never would have discovered the sport, and our coach because he makes the sport fun. It's easy to say he is one of the best coaches I've ever had for any sport not only because he is good at what he does, but also because he is an all around great guy!
MileSplit.us: Who do you look up to outside of T&F? Why?
Chris Uhle: Outside of track and field I look up to Travis Pastrana, he is just insane at everything he does. No doubt in my mind that if he tried pole vaulting he could make it to the olympic level in a matter of years.
Joey Uhle: Outside of track and field it's hard to say who I look up to, most of my role models are in the track and field world.
MileSplit.us: Where do you see yourself long-term in the vault… beyond high school and college?
Chris Uhle: A lot of people at our school have noticed our success and jokingly ask if we cane give them tickets to the Olympics when we make it there. I just laugh and shrug it off but every part of me thinks that if we keep it up and train hard we can both make it to that level. If i succeed, i owe a lot of people tickets.
Joey Uhle: Hopefully I will still be competing after college, if I am competing I hope I am with my brothers. I have never had the chance to vault against my older brother in a meet and I would like to do that eventually, whether I win or lose.