Vaulting a family affair for Dreilings
By KLINT SPILLER
In between vaults, Thomas More Prep-Marian brothers Zach and Sam Dreiling would run over to the sideline and speak with their father, Mark Dreiling.
Mark, a former pole vaulter, served as an unofficial additional coach, providing counsel for his sons. Several other family members sat next to the pole vaulting pits on the back of a truck and cheered for the two Dreiling boys.
The Dreilings have done well this season in the pole vault, consistently scoring for TMP the past two seasons, and much of that can be attributed to their support structure.
"Everything we do, they support us 100 percent, no matter what," sophomore Sam Dreiling said.
The Dreilings live on a farm southeast of Walker, and their father has gone all out to help them succeed in athletics.
Five years ago, Mark Dreiling brought home a used pole vaulting pit that had belonged to a high school for his kids to practice on.
Sometimes after practice, the brothers will go home, use the poles their parents bought for them and get some extra practice time in.
"I beat myself silly whenever I practice," Sam Dreiling said. "(Zach) has to tell me to stop."
Mark Dreiling even gets involved sometimes.
"He still grabs a pole every now and then and tries vaulting," Sam said, explaining his father clears anywhere between 8 to 10 feet.
It's not just pole vault, though. Senior Zach Dreiling said they have everything they needed to practice growing up: a football goal post, basketball goal, baseball backstop and pitching mound.
"My dad is a sports junkie," Zach Dreiling said. "There's nothing he enjoys more than watching sports."
So far, their parents' support has paid off.
Sam Dreiling won the pole vault Thursday at the Mid-Central Activities Association championships at Lewis Field Stadium with a personal-best mark of 13 feet, 6 inches.
Zach didn't have as good of a day and was visibly frustrated after the meet, but he still managed to take third with a mark of 12 feet -- six inches short of his season best.
The brothers admitted there's a bit of a family rivalry.
They have aimed to break their father's best high school mark of 13 feet since they started vaulting. Sam tied it earlier in the season and finally broke it Thursday.
"I beat it today," Sam said proudly.
However, he said he has no plans of talking smack to him.