Pilgrim’s helps RHS reach new heights with donation toward pole vault equipment

The Russellville High School track and field team will soon reach new heights, thanks in part to a $22,000 donation from Pilgrim’s Pride to help with the purchase of high jump and pole vault equipment.

“We appreciate the commitment to all of our student-athletes, regardless of the sport,” said RHS athletic director John Ritter. “Pilgrim’s is a great supporter of all our teams and our community at large.”

Pilgrim’s Russellville complex manager Jamie Young said the donation is part of Pilgrim’s commitment to give back to the community.

“This donation is provided by means of Pilgrim’s Hometown Strong funding program to invest in projects to help support the future of the community,” Young explained. “We are proud to be able to give back to the local schools and assist them in getting this equipment.”

RCS superintendent Dr. Heath Grimes said with the addition of the pole vault pit, as well as upgrades to the shot and discus areas, the goal of bidding for and hosting the sectional track meet is closer than ever.

“Hosting the two-day meet will not only provide exposure to the great facilities of Russellville City Schools,” Grimes pointed out, “but it will also provide a significant economic impact.”

In the Feb. 24 meeting of the Russellville City Schools Board of Education, the board approved Richey Athletics as the lowest bidder on the pole vault project, in the amount of $27,235. Other bidders were Pole Vault Georgia for $38,114.60 and Elite Athlete for $35,646.05.

The remaining cost above Pilgrim’s donation will be paid out the system’s sports funds.

RHS principal Dr. Jason Goodwin said adding pole vault might help reach RCS students who would not have otherwise been involved in the track program, describing it as “a great addition to a growing track program.”

RHS track coach Brett Voss said the addition will “open a lot of doors.”

“We’re so appreciative of Pilgrim’s for their generosity in helping make this possible for us,” Voss said. “The program will be fully operational in time for the next track season, which will be spring 2023.”