A Place Where A Pole Vaulter Can Have a Dream and The Tools in Order to Realize It.... | RISE Pole Vault Our Story

RISE Pole Vault’s inception was sparked by Jake Winder’s vision: a haven for the pole-vaulting community of Chicagoland, where dreams could turn into reality. This home would be a space where pole vaulters, backed by elite coaching, quality equipment, and a premium facility, could transcend their imaginations’ limits.

This venture, however, didn’t just spring up overnight. Its roots trace back to Jake’s father Tim Winder’s story. Despite Woodlawn High lacking a track team, Tim’s burgeoning passion for pole vaulting remained undeterred. Unaided, he immersed himself in knowledge and intense backyard practice. This dedication bore fruit in 1979, when he not only clinched the Illinois State Championship but also set a state record. This marked the true genesis of RISE Pole Vault.

Want to hear more about this story?  Check out the One More Jump Podcast episode with Tim Winder.
RISE Pole Vault

Since Tim Winder’s introduction to pole vaulting in 1973, his family has carved an extraordinary legacy. Together, Tim and his sons Jake (owner/coach), Josh, and Luke (general manager/coach) form the world’s highest pole vaulting quartet in history. They collectively hold five Illinois State championships and 12 Division 3 National Championships. All three brothers have competed post-college at elite levels, with Luke, a 2022 world championship team member, still active and boasting a personal best of 5.80 meters (19′ 1/4″).

The Winder family’s experience has significantly benefitted Chicagoland’s community for decades. Tim’s impactful coaching career, starting at Naperville Central and extending to North Central College, along with numerous camps and clinics since 1987, shaped a highly effective pole vaulting teaching system.

In 2019, the Winders decided to extend their extensive knowledge and a purpose-built training facility to any aspiring pole vaulter. Consequently, RISE Pole Vault came into existence.

RISE Athletic Club | RISE Pole Vault
Coach John Wood | RISE Pole Vault
Coach John Wood

John Wood, a six-time All-American and North Central College alumni, became part of the RISE Pole Vault coaching team in Fall 2021. A former student of Tim Winder, the godfather of the RISE System, John achieved a personal best of 17’5″. With his childhood steeped in the RISE System and experience teaching at his parents’ Palatine martial arts studio, John combines deep familiarity with the method and excellent instructional skills. As RISE’s Content Director, he’s also instrumental in building its rapidly expanding online presence.

Coach Mike Karl

Since joining RISE’s coaching staff in 2020, Coach Mike Karl has consistently unlocked athletes’ potential. With over 12 years as the pole vaulting coach at Providence Catholic High School, he’s guided many state qualifiers and high-performing athletes, leading several boys past the 16-foot mark and girls over 13 feet. We’re fortunate to benefit from Mike’s vast expertise in pole vaulting.

Coach Mike Karl | RISE Pole Vault

About Rise

At RISE, we’re steeped in the intricate layers of pole vaulting and dedicated to imparting this knowledge to future athletes. Our mission is straightforward: to offer our athletes top-tier instruction, facilities, and equipment for the best possible experience. We eagerly anticipate aiding you in reaching new heights—let’s RISE HIGHER together!

All Three Generations Of Winder Pole Vaulters

All three generations of Winder pole vaulters after the IHSA State Meet.
(Jake, Luke, Harold, Tim, & Josh)

Tim Winder First State Championship 1979

Tim Winder winning first state championship for the family in 1979

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