OXFORD, Miss – As Sam Kendricks prepares to to represent the USA in the pole vault at the 2016 Summer Olympics, what you may not know is that he also serves the nation as a second lieutenant in the 655th Transportation Company of the Army Reserves.
Working out of the Millington, Tenn base, Kendricks, who is 23, was commissioned into service following his graduation from the University of Mississippi in 2014.
“I am certainly looking to represent the Americans on two fronts, as a military man and as a U.S. athlete,” Kendricks told USA Today. “I’m just trying to put my best foot forward for all those soldiers who are watching.”
Before entering Ole Miss he jumped for Oxford High School leading his team to the 2009 MHSAA 5A State Championship. While pole vaulting for the University of Mississippi, Kendricks won the 2013 and 2014 NCAA Championships.
The last American pole vaulter to win an Olympic medal was in 2004 – Tim Mack and Toby Stevenson.
Meanwhile, all across Oxford, Miss are posters proclaiming “Jump Sam Jump.”
Kendricks is ranked No. 2 in the world for 2016 with a vault of 19 feet, 5 inches.
Men’s pole vault in Rio begins today at 6:20pm.
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Russ Jones is the Editor-In-Chief for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.