By the end of my senior year in HS, I was still only 5"8" 145 pounds, and not quite what
Division 1 schools were looking for. I chose to attend Olivet Nazarene University (went from a pretzel to a tiger) in Bourbonnais, Illinois just south of Chicago. I naturally chose this school since it's where my parents and my siblings attended.
Mark Hollis USA PoleVault
I saw a lot of improvement that indoor season and in the span of one month I jumped 40cm/ 1ft 4in higher than I had in college! My jump of 5.75m/18'10 was the 3rd highest in the world at the time and things were looking good to make the Olympic team. Inexperience at the professional level then snuck up and bit me in the butt as I was unable to make it through to the finals of the Olympic Trials. The next year I took my first trip to Europe! Wow, what an experience and I'll never forget that feeling of wonder and adventure knowing that pole vault was taking me around the world. In 2009 I jumped 5.70m/18'8 at USA nationals after breaking 2 toes mid-comp, I finished in 5th place and missed the World Championship team by 1 spot! It was also in the summer of 2009 that I married my best friend Amanda!