Max Robinson ’22 vaults to victory

Malvern Prep’s pole vaulter, Max Robinson, catapulted into the record books in the midst of his stellar senior year, breaking the school outdoor pole vaulting record.

Luke Gueriera, Friar Life Editor

Malvern has curated athletic talent for generations through a multitude of different sports. Even in less populated sports teams, like Track & Field, there is a consistent air of dedication and hard work to be great among all of the athletes. Max Robinson ‘22 has achieved success in breaking Malvern’s pole vaulting record through the embodiment of these attributes. 

I have been vaulting since the spring season of my freshman year, but I had been around the sport for a couple of years prior to that,” Robinson said about how his journey began with the sport.

Mr. Mike Koenig, Track & Field Head Coach, also started this journey with Robinson, although it didn’t begin very clear-cut.

“Originally, [Max] started as a distance runner when he first joined the team and later decided to try sprinting, but that really wasn’t working out too well. So because of this, he asked to try pole vaulting,” Koenig said. “We do have a hard time finding pole vaulters, so it was really exciting to have a ninth grader interested, which would be good to get him started early.”

Clearly, breaking a school record cannot be accomplished through idle training and only starting a sport early, but by serious commitment to becoming better every year.

“This summer was my busiest in terms of training. I was working on speed development in addition to strength training the most with a little bit of technique work. I didn’t do too many meets over the summer so that I could get longer training periods in,” Robinson said.

Due to Robinson’s great responsibility and accountability in his training, Koenig has ease in his coaching strategies for Max.

“He’s so proficient technically that it’s going to be hard for me to really pick things out,” Koenig said. “So we talk more about mental things, which is, you know, how are you feeling? What are your thoughts about your performance?” 

After a culmination of years of hard work and persistence to improve in his event, Robinson demonstrated to the entire Malvern community the talent he had cultivated by breaking the school pole vault record.

I had the opportunity to jump at a meet in New Jersey at a facility called Vault Factory. I wasn’t jumping great at the start of the meet but I made a couple of changes and was able to fix my jump, which is when I cleared the 14’4 bar,” Robinson said. “I couldn’t believe it, but I felt something different about the jump that I had never felt before. I was shocked that I jumped a new personal record and also when Mr. Koenig reached out about the meet, and we realized it was a school record too.”

Koenig also felt shocked about the record being broken, not about how it was done, but more so when it was accomplished.

“I didn’t even know he was going to that meet,” Koenig said. 

So, as the new holder of Malvern’s outdoor pole vault record, the question now becomes; what’s next for Robinson?

“During the upcoming seasons I would love to keep jumping higher but I also can’t wait to see what the track team does as a whole. I look forward to having a normal season back as the last one would have been during my freshman year,” Robinson said.

Koenig has some ideas of what the future hopefully holds for Robinson in terms of the upcoming track season.

“We’re trying to branch him out a little bit into some other events because he is such a good athlete. We’re gonna try him out in the hurdles or maybe to be a part of some of our relays,” Koenig said. “A guy like that, you really don’t want him to live in just one event. You want to score as many points as possible in other areas with that kind of versatility.”

Robinson is hopeful for a future in pole vaulting at the collegiate level and will have the unwavering support of Koenig, the rest of the track team, and the entire Malvern community.

“I am very grateful for everyone who has helped me and I am looking forward to a great year ahead,” Robinson said.