Sunday, March 3, 2019

Indoor Season Wrap-Up at UWSP

            After a couple of fantastic indoor meets, I looked at UWSP’s indoor schedule, and saw they were hosting a Final Qualifier on March 2nd. It was a college meet, but also open to Unattached/Club athletes. As a Final Qualifier, the purpose of this kind of meet is to have one more chance at getting marks to qualify for Nationals. The field size ended up being ideal, but the starting height reflected the fact that it was a Final Qualifier. There are college meets that may have opening height in the 8-9 foot range, but this meet was starting at 10-9! I usually start at 10 feet, so this was a little steep for opening height for me even.
            With UWSP only being a 1:40 drive from home, it was too enticing to pass up (much better than the 4 hour drive to Bethel for the last one). Walking into a college meet to compete brought out two strong feelings: nerves because it brought back college memories, and it also made me feel really old! I was surrounded by such youthfulness! While all these college vaulters had the advantage of being able to practice and have a coach, I had the advantage of experience. The nerves quickly died down once we got started. If nothing else, I have come to rely on the consistency that comes with 14 years of vaulting. I was also determined to strive for any edge I could gain, which included going all the way back to a 14 step (7-left) approach for the first time in 9 years!
            Out of 13 vaulters, only one passed the first height. I was the fifth in the order, but the first (and possibly only) one to clear the bar on the first attempt. Only 7 girls even made opening height. At 11-3, one girl cleared it on her first attempt. I cleared it on my second attempt, and the third girl who went on, cleared it on her third attempt. While the winner went on to clear 11-9 right away, I and the other girl failed to clear it, which left me as second overall! At a COLLEGE meet. While of course I was really hoping to make 11-9, I also need to keep it in perspective that my only practices have been at these meets, and I have done REALLY well! I am super excited to get into the summer season and see what I can do!