Soaring with the Eagles
Oral Roberts University takes pole-vaulting to greater heights.
(page 3 of 3)
Lookout, a 2012 Jenks High School graduate, committed to ORU in February.
He was the Oklahoma Class 6A state pole-vaulting champion his junior year and runner-up his senior year. He credits his father, Sammy Lookout, for sparking his interest in the sport.
“My dad was a pole-vaulter in Hominy, Okla., and I started jumping with him,” Lookout says. “Then I started training with coach Dial in eighth grade and talked to him about vaulting and watched his videos. I saw some progression and really liked it here. I knew I would end up at ORU.”
Lookout’s all-time best vault is 16 feet, 6 inches, from his junior year. Before an injury slowed him down in his senior year, he was well on his way to bettering that mark this year when he cleared 16-3 in a mid-season meet at Tahlequah.
Lookout is generous in his praise of learning from coach Dial and teammate Jack Whitt.
“I’ve watched Jack jump since I was a freshman in high school,” he says. “He’s a good friend of mine, and I really look up to him. Whatever he does, I try to imitate.
“The same with coach Dial. I watch his videos and listen to everything he says. Just watching them provides me motivation. They both push and drive me.”
Lookout acknowledges three factors that are important for any success in vaulting: speed, strength and fearlessness.
“It’s all about speed,” he says. “The faster you are, the easier it is to pole-vault. And you have to be fearless. You can’t be afraid to go up the pole and clear heights.”
Lookout attributes gymnastics training during his freshman and sophomore years and working with coach Dial from the eighth through 12th grades to improving his vaulting abilities.
“I went from 13 to 15 feet after doing gymnastics and working with coach Dial,” he says.
As for personal goals, Lookout is shooting to clear 18 feet his freshman year.
“Training under someone like coach Dial is a dream come true,” he says. “I wouldn’t be as good as I am without him.”