Beyond the game: Seth Arnold, junior pole vaulter


Sports Reporter

Seth Arnold, junior pole vaulter, wanted to surpass his brother, Zack, who he grew up watching compete in track and field.

"Just a competitive talking back and forth, giving each other a hard time," Zack said. “But we were always there for one another, not like, ‘Oh, come on, you can do better’ kinda thing. It was more like, ‘Pull your head out of your ass and get your shit together.’"  

Zack admits to sibling rivalry during their high school years. The brothers competed against each other at a district meet when Zack was a senior in high school and Seth was a freshman.

Seth beat Zack.

Their mother, Penny, said the relationship was tense for the next few days before everything returned to normal.

Arnold's most memorable moment so far is not one of his collegiate victories.

"My first outdoor meet at Texas State,” Arnold said. "First jump of the meet, the competition started and I came in. I took one jump at the bar. I didn't even make it, so I missed the bar and then landed on the pole, and everything swelled up, and (I) went to the hospital."  

Seth was taken to the hospital immediately. He lacerated his kidney, and his liver had been torn. 

After the injury, Seth realized he couldn't imagine his life without being active.  

"Whenever I got hurt and I couldn't do anything, literally all I could do is, like, walk around,” Seth said. “That was like as much physical activity as I got. I had no idea what to do with my life. I, like, slept, just—I was like, ‘I'm going to take a nap because I've got nothing better to do.’"

Seth transferred to Texas State from Houston. Seth’s coach at Houston was his father, Don, who competed in pole vaulting in college.  

Don noticed that Seth rarely showed emotions, good or bad, after a jump.

"He was extremely focused, very organized on how he wanted to get done and how he wanted to do it," Don said.  

Seth hopes to earn his master’s degree in mechanical engineering technology.

He does not plan on leaving pole vaulting anytime soon.  

"Hopefully I'll have my name on some record boards," Seth said. "I want to be remembered as (an) awesome pole vaulter and an all-around good guy. I don't want people thinking I'm a jerk or anything."