Twelve years ago this week Cornelius Warmerdam, competing in the Chicago Relays, set a new world indoor record for the pole vault. After the rest of the field dropped out, Warmerdam topped the 15-foot mark three times. When he completed the record vault (15 feet 8½ finches) the crowd of 14,000 watched the bar tremble, then steady and remain in place. A cheer went up while Warmerdam picked himself, grinning, out of the sawdust pit. The Flying Dutchman had broken his own record. The mark he set still stands.

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