Meet Scott Houston: 2018 U.S. national indoor champion Special

Posted Mar 13, 2018 by Markos Papadatos
Scott Houston, the 2018 U.S. national indoor champion in pole vault, chatted with Digital Journal about his athletic and coaching career in the track and field sport.
Scott Houston
Scott Houston
Scott Houston
Earlier this year, Houston won the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships with 5.83 meters (setting a new personal best for indoor pole vault), besting 2017 world champion Sam Kendricks, who came in second place with 5.78 meters. "It was a very fun competition," Houston admitted.
More recently, on March 4, Houston competed at the 2018 World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, England. "Competing in Birmingham was a dream come true, especially to compete at the world stage," he said. "It was a very strong field. The competition was very high-end, and I am looking forward to getting more experience and doing better next time."
For aspiring pole vaulters, his advice is simple: "Consistency over time." "If you attack something consistently over time, the chances of achieving it are pretty high," he said.
Regarding the key to longevity in pole vault, he said, "The sport is a long sport. Most pole vaulters reach their peak around 27 to 34. We have some amazing athletes that are jumping really high at young ages. I hope everybody doesn't look at that and get discouraged. Consistency over time is key, and getting through adversity."
Scott Houston
Scott Houston
Photo Courtesy of Scott Houston
Scott Houston: Pole Vault Coach
In addition, Houston coaches pole vault at the collegiate level, where he serves as Assistant Coach in Track and Field at High Point University in North Carolina. "Coaching is really wonderful. It is something that keeps me grounded, and it keeps me attached to good people," he said. "Being attached to other people, and serving and helping others achieve their goals is just as important as achieving your own."
Houston's plans for the future are to continue doing what he is doing. "Trying to jump higher, and to continue coaching at High Point University, and try to inspire people along the way," he said.
Over the last five years, the 27-year-old pole vaulter noted that he has experienced "a lot of learning, a lot of mistakes, a lot of frustration and a lot of stubbornness" in his desire to accomplish his goals. "Over the past five years, the times I liked the most were the people that I met, the friends that I have made, and the journey that I have been a part of," he said.
While pole vault may be one of the most difficult sports in track and field, the athletes, for the most part, have been extremely helpful and supportive. "We definitely support each other a lot. We all know the hardships that can come through pole vaulting, and we really enjoy the purity and the honesty of the sport. The competition is just unlike any other," he said.
Houston had nothing but the kindest words for veteran pole vaulter (who has been practicing the sport for 52 years) Bubba Sparks. "I have been fortunate to meet Bubba [Sparks] a few times, and I have really enjoyed talking to him. Bubba is a great guy. He is unbelievable, and he keeps giving back," he said. "The world and life are about people, and not just accomplishments."
The 2018 U.S. indoor champion pole vaulter defined success as "accomplishment over time." "Sticking with your goals, and not necessarily wavering the challenge that comes at you. Success is a platform to share stories and to help inspire others," he said.
Digital transformation of pole vault
On the impact of technology on the sport of pole vault, Houston said, "With video technology, it has improved analysis. Pole vaulting is a sprinting event, so people that enjoy pole vaulting are better at running. With video analysis, people have been a lot better at improving their heights at an earlier age, as well as injury prevention. The healthier an athlete is, the more likely they will pole vault more, run more, train more, and the higher they will perform."
For his fans, Houston expressed his gratitude for their long-term support. "They have seen me me go through injuries and adversity, but they supported me to achieve my goals. It has been a real blessing. A lot of people have reached out to me, and finally things have started to work out. That means a lot coming from everybody," he said.
To learn more about American pole vaulter Scott Houston, follow him on Twitter.