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Jan. 20, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion track and field program will welcome well over 1,000 athletes, representing 40-plus high schools on Saturday, at the Kevin Dare High School Invitational at Ashenfelter III Indoor Track. The competition is held in memory of former State College High School and Penn State athlete Kevin Dare, who was killed in a pole-vaulting accident at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in 2002. The meet is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., Saturday morning. Since the accident, the Kevin Dare Memorial Foundation and Penn State University have been at the forefront of the quest to improve pole vault safety, releasing the world's first pole vault specific helmet - the KD Max - in 2004. The Foundation has continued to strive toward making the event as safe as possible, improving its original helmet design and creating the new "KD Pro Extreme" pole vaulting helmet through a partnership with Simpson Performance Products.
Kevin's Story (from the Kevin Dare Foundation)
On February 23, 2002, Kevin, a sophomore at the Pennsylvania State University, was competing in the Big Ten men's indoor track and field championships in the University of Minnesota Field House. Just before his vault, Kevin turned to his father and spoke, "This is my day, Dad." These were the last words Kevin spoke before he lost his life upon impact with the metal vaulting box doing what he loved most. An accomplished pole-vaulter, Kevin Dare loved to soar like an eagle. He made this difficult sport look easy. He had no fear, and was a confident competitor because thousands of times before, he had sprinted down the path, put his fiberglass pole into the metal box, bent the pole, flung himself up high off the ground to clear a yellow bar, and then fell back to Earth onto the landing pit. Kevin's determination, along with his courage, strength, and speed made him a champion and someone to be admired. In celebration of Kevin's life and accomplishments, the family and friends he left on earth have begun the tradition of the annual Kevin Dare Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Kevin Dare Memorial Foundation. Since the benefit began in 2002, the Foundation has raised the funds to fully endow a scholarship in Kevin's honor, and continues to actively promote safety in the sport of pole vaulting.
Bryn Mawr School for Girls
Central Bucks East
Glen Mills School
Holy Ghost Prep
Mount de Sales
Saint Basil Academy
Wyoming Valley West