Lee’s Summit High School pole vaulter, KC Lightfoot was recently named the Gatorade Missouri Track Player of the Year. As part of his award, Lightfoot was able to choose a local or national youth sports organization to receive a $1,000 grant from Gatorade as part of the brand’s Play It Forward program. His choice was the Just Vault Foundation.
Lightfoot is the 2018 second best vaulter in the United States with a jump of 18’5″. He’s a two-time state champion and also won the New Balance competition this summer in North Carolina. He vaulted 18′ or higher 12 times this year. He will continue his vaulting career at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
“He is the most focused athlete that I have ever coached, and I have coached thousands of athletes of all ages. He is a dedicated athlete who hones his craft six days a week. I have watched him mature greatly over the last six years and learn to harness his passion,” said Just Vault owner Todd Cooper. “While he is extremely confident in his ability, he also is quite humble. He has made friends from all over the country. He also worked this year with younger vaulters at his high school to help them improve their technique. He has helped me coach at my facility. He makes a point of talking with vaulters of all skill levels at every meet he attends.”
Gatorade’s Play It Forward initiative works in collaboration with the Gatorade Player of the Year campaign to empower elite high school athletes to give back to a local or national youth sports organization through grants from Gatorade.
Play It Forward empowers every one of the Gatorade Player of the Year recipients’ to award a $1,000 grant from Gatorade to a community organization that helps young athletes reap the benefits of sport. For us, the money will be used to provide scholarships for athletes vaulting at the collegiate level.
Lightfoot also will be participating in the Just Vault Foundation 4th Annual Golf Tournament slated for 1 PM, August 11 at the Excelsior Springs Golf Course. Cost to play is $80 per golfer. He is the defending champ from last year’s tournament.
The Just Vault Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, has provided 10 scholarships over the last three years totaling $8,200.