The Times West Virginian


January 8, 2013

Lofty heights

Dave Tork briefly holds world pole vault record

FAIRMONT — The place was Walnut, Calif., and the date was April 28, 1962.

That was when Dave Tork, a pole vaulter from Fairmont, established a new world pole vault record.

Pole vaulting has never been a major sport for many Marion County athletes, and for most of them, the high school track and field team was the last time they have taken out the old equipment and tried their luck with it.

Tork, however, has dedicated many years of his life to the sport, becoming the world champion in April 1962.

That was a period when pole vaulting was a hot topic in the United States and the record was broken a number of times during that time. And April 28 was Tork’s time to get his name atop the record books — even if it didn’t last more than a few weeks.

His record vault was good enough to earn Dave Tork a berth in the Marion County Sports Hall of Fame.


When a young Dave Tork was a sophomore at Fairmont Senior High School, his father, Patsy Tork, thought he needed to become more serious about his school work, so his parents arranged for him to spend that year at a prep school in Pennsylvania.

And that’s where Tork learned about pole vaulting. One might say it changed his life.

That was also when he decided he would set his goals high, and that’s when he made up his mind that some day in the future, he would become a world champion in the sport.

That was quite a lofty goal for a young lad just learning the sport.


Full story

Text Only
  • EFHS Softball - CB.jpg East can’t overcome No. 7 Lincoln, falls, 4-0

    Thunder clouds weren’t the only thing looming over the East Fairmont (6-6) softball team Monday when the Lady Bees hosed No. 7 Lincoln. Joining the ominous clouds was a sense of urgency for energy that never showed up as Lincoln was able to shut out East Fairmont, 4-0.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gyorko, Padres agree to extension

    Jedd Gyorko, who hasn’t hit much of anything with a .178 start on this season, hit the jackpot on Monday, signing a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres for $35 million with a one-year club option at $13 million.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Spring game showed defense has improved

    From Dana Holgorsen’s viewpoint, which was standing right behind the offense, West Virginia’s Gold-Blue Spring Game on Saturday was a rousing success for it showed very little of what the Mountaineers will be in this coming season, probably not even showcasing the man who will direct the offense in the quarterback position.

    April 15, 2014

  • WVU signs guard; Adrian arrested for DUI

    There was something good and something bad for West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins this past weekend as Kansas junior college player Tarik Phillip committed to play for the Mountaineers but rising sophomore Nathan Adrian was charged with Under 21 DUI after he was stopped at 1:20 a.m. Sunday for an expired registration sticker.

    April 15, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in last Saturday’s West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage.

    April 15, 2014

  • APTOPIX Masters Golf_time.jpg Bubba wins another green jacket at Augusta

    Bubba Watson’s second Masters title was nothing like the green jacket he won two years ago.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Experience counts on Sunday in the Masters

    There’s a reason no rookie has won the Masters in the 35 years since Fuzzy Zoeller pulled it off.
    And that’s a big reason Bubba Watson is now the proud owner of two green jackets.

    April 14, 2014

  • FSHS #20-UHS  #1, 6-TS.jpg Kesling’s bat powers Polar Bears

    When Fairmont Senior’s Johnny Kesling stepped into the batter’s box this past week, it was game over.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Garrison still proving he can carry the ball

    The running back raves from the West Virginia coaching this spring have been directly mostly toward Wendell Smallwood, and rest assured he earned every one of them with his versatility, but it was a reborn running back who well may have taken the biggest jump up the depth chart.

    April 14, 2014

  • WVU baseball drops seventh straight game

    One’s athletic skills are tested on a daily basis but every so often other aspects of an athlete’s makeup are tested, often far more important aspects in the game of life.

    April 14, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos