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Meet John Scott Kendricks: High School pole vault champion

Teen pole vaulter John Scott Kendricks is the pride of Oxford, Mississippi. He chatted about his latest endeavors.

John Scott Kendricks
John Scott Kendricks. Photo Credit: David Nguyen
John Scott Kendricks. Photo Credit: David Nguyen

Teen pole vaulter John Scott Kendricks is the pride of Oxford, Mississippi. He chatted about his latest endeavors.

Margaret Mead once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” John Scott embodies this wise quote.

This past November, he signed a national letter of intent with the Arkansas Razorbacks. His personal best in the sport is 5.12 meters, which help him secure the 2022 Adidas Outdoor national title. “It feels pretty good to be the Adidas High School national champion,” he admitted. “We actually were taking our senior banner pictures today and I was wearing that national championship medal today, it was pretty nice.”

Talent runs in his family. John Scott is the younger brother of two-time world champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Sam Kendricks. John Scott and Sam are both coached by their father Scott Kendricks. “It’s fun being coached by my father. It’s a bit weird having a father as a coach because most athletes see their coach during practice but I see my coach all the time,” he said.

“It’s very good for me since we reflect on what happened in practice and it never really leaves your mind because your coach is always around, and I think it’s great for an athlete to be in a circumstance like that,” he elaborated.

Regarding his daily motivations, John Scott said, “There are a lot of things. Originally, when I first started, it was because it was something that was brother, Sam, was really good at, and it looked like it was fun. Now, it’s different. I can see myself being so much better, there are so many things I need to work on.”

“Every time I go into practice, I see 10 things that I need to work on, and I can just see myself getting better if I keep on working,” he added.

He noted that Sam was “definitely” a huge influence on him growing up. “Right now, he is tied for the world-leading mark with KC Lightfoot,” he said.

Regarding his plans for the future, he said, “For this year, I want to finish up my senior season and I am going to try to have fun with that. I will be going to a lot of meets around Mississippi. For the outdoor season, for the most part, I will be sticking to my state and I am going to try to enjoy this season. I will definitely try to break Sam’s state record, I think it’s very possible. After that, I am headed to Arkansas in August and that will be my freshman season.”

On the title of the current chapter of his life, he revealed, “Untitled.” “I wouldn’t call it ‘new beginning’ because I am finishing up this year,” he explained. “I will have a title next year when I see how my freshman year goes.”

For young and aspiring pole vaulters, he said, “The biggest advice I could give any young pole vaulter is to look stuff up because even if you don’t have a coach, all of the information you need to be good, is readily available online on so many different platforms. You can get pro-level tips for free, especially in regard to form and workouts. That’s the biggest thing that young people need to know how to do: learn.”

On his definition of the word success, John Scott said, “For me, it’s about going out and having fun because I have done a lot of work over the last three years. I’ve competed with really good guys, I’ve broken records all over the place, and this is my last year in high school.”

“I want to go and break the state record, and I think I will, but more than anything, I don’t want to stress myself over it, I want to enjoy the last six months of school. I know I am going to jump high but I really want to have fun with it,” he added.

For his fans, followers, and supporters, he expressed his gratitude. “Thank you,” he expressed. “There has been a lot of people that have been really good to me over the years. At all of these big meets we go to, there are always crowds of people cheering us on, and that makes the atmosphere so much better.”

“The people watching the event are always great, and they want to see somebody doing really cool and there is a lot of support around that,” he added.

John Scott also took some time to answer some “Rapid Fire” Questions.

Waffles or pancakes? Pancakes
Flying or driving? Flying
City living or country living? A mix of both, a house in the city and a property in the country.
Summer or winter? Summer
Library or museum? Museum
Bath or shower? Shower
Pepsi or Coke? Coke
Texting or calling? It depends, usually texting
Half-full or half-empty? Half-full
Curly fries or normal fries? Seasoned Curly fries
Skydiving or scuba diving? Skydiving
Indoor pool or outdoor pool? Outdoor pool
Tea or coffee? Coffee
Rain or snow? Snow
Singing or dancing? Singing
Burgers or tacos? Tacos
Long course or short course pool? Long course pool
Money or fame? Money

To learn more about John Scott Kendricks, follow him on Instagram.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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