A state champion brother-sister pole vault duo will compete on the national stage.
Lauren Hamm and younger brother Maddox will take part in the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic Championships in Sacramento, California this week.
The Hamms both won Class 5A state championships back in May while helping the Scottsboro girls and boys track and field teams win team state titles.
Maddox Hamm then won a 13-14-year-old division national championship during the New Balance Nationals Outdoor Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina last month while Lauren has competed in two regional Junior Olympic Meets this summer. Next week’s meet is the final one of the summer for both.
“We did these because it’s the offseason and we didn’t want to take three months off,” said Lauren, a 2019 Scottsboro High School graduate who will compete in the pole vault and high jump for UAH next season. “It’s a fun way to stay in shape and still be able to do some things we love to do (in the summer).”
Both vaulters have practiced around two days a week this summer to stay sharp. Both said having fun is their primary goal this week.
“Just (compete) and have some fun,” said Maddox Hamm.
Maddox Hamm competes in the meet’s 13-14 Boys Paul Vault Championship on Wednesday while Lauren competes in the 17-18 Girls Pole Vault Championship on Saturday.
“We’ll have two days off in between our events, so I’ll be like a family vacation,” Lauren Hamm said.
Both vaulters are expecting strong competition.
“I know there will be some good girls there,” Lauren Hamm said. “It’s going to be good competition. It’s going to be fun.”
Maddox Hamm, who turned 14 in late May, set a national record (14 feet, nine inches) for a 13-year-old vaulter twice during the regular season, the final time during the AHSAA State Championships May 2. At the Junior Olympic Championships, He will compete against a 13-year-old vaulter who has unofficially topped his mark.
“It’ll be fun to compete against him,” Maddox Hamm said.