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Austin Pole Vault and Starky’s FA.S.T. Camp Unite to Support Military Athletes

September 15, 2020

US Military Endurance Sports (USMES) Boulder, CO – Sept 15, 2020 – Austin Pole Vault and Throw co-founder Brandon Frye first met Andrew “Starky” Starykowicz when the Frye family provided host housing for CapTex Tri. “I brought my wife and three girls to watch Andrew race,” said Frye, “and the family had a great time hanging out with him all weekend.” When Starykowicz invited Frye to this year’s FA.S.T. Camp (Frye is an IRONMAN athlete and Leadville finisher), Frye decide to do something a little different: “I wasn’t able to attend, and my family has been very fortunate during this turbulent year. So I asked Andrew if I could sponsor other athletes.”

Starykowicz reached out to USMES Executive Director Mandy Midget, and the duo chose Brett Zimmerman to send to FA.S.T. Camp. Zimmerman is a young Navy Veteran known for his sunny personality and commitment to triathlon. “Life’s too short — I realized that when I was in the Navy and on a submarine — sometimes it gets pretty dark,” said Zimmerman, who served his country for 10 years. Inspired by legendary coach Jason Kilderry (who lost his battle with T-cell lymphoma at the end of 2017) Zimmerman honorably discharged from the Navy, moved into a Sprinter van, and has been racing and pursuing his pro-card ever since. “So many of our military athletes are like Zimmerman, they have to defer their dreams during military service,” said Midgett. “We are gratefully to Frye and Austin Pole Vault and Throw for funding Brett to go to a camp that will help him reach his athletic potential.”

During the pandemic, USMES has seen more demand than ever for its services. “Our members are grappling with isolation and uncertainty, while others are exhausted by months of work on COVID-19 response teams,” said Midgett. “This is exactly the kind of ‘extra’ we like to provide, that we’ve had to cut to keep our budget in line with fundraising during a pandemic. This year Brett has seen every goal race cancelled by COVID-19. He needs this camp, and we are so thrilled that he’s able to attend.”

Frye remembers the challenges of being a totally new business venture. “We were lifted up by supporters, when we had a dream of providing the first indoor pole vault and throws facility in Austin. And now we are fortunate to be able to give back to support others,” said Frye. “We are honored to support military Veterans, and are very appreciative of their service. The FA.S.T. scholarship is a unique opportunity to aid both Andrew Starykowitz in pursing his dreams, and other athletes from great organizations doing the same,” said Frye.

About US Military Endurance Sports

US Military Endurance Sports (USMES), a division of American Servicemembers Amateur Sports (ASAS) Inc, is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization chartered to support amateur athletes, endurance sports education and activities for current, retired, and Veteran members of the United States Armed Forces. The mission of USMES is to promote endurance sports as part of a healthy lifestyle to active and Veteran members of America’s Uniformed Services. usmes.org, facebook.com/USMES

About Austin Pole Vault and Throws
Austin Pole Vault and Throws is a world class indoor training facility, the first of its kind in the Austin metro area. Experience our culture of athletic excellence as you train on two 100+ foot runways, international-size pole vault pits, and a cutting-edge throws area. Led by Co-owner and Head Coach Ben Plotz, our coaching team has collectively earned conference titles and national rankings at NCAA Div. I schools, including the University of Texas, Texas State, Texas A&M, and Washington State. We are passionate about helping athletes reach and exceed their potential as future pole vaulters and throwers, while they have fun doing it! austinpolevault.com, Instagram: @austinpolevaults