Monday, July 12, 2010

National Champ!

This past weekend I made the trek out to San Francisco, CA for USATF Club National Championships. Given that I haven't really been around that long in this sport, it was my first Championship meet experience. And with how the last few meets have gone, our goal heading into the meet was simply to clear a bar. After that the plan was to win. It was also my first meet in two years without my coach. But thankfully the other vaulters competing were all really nice and amazingly helpful.

The meet went surprisingly smoothly.... until the very end. Warm ups felt great. I had been struggling the last few weeks getting my takeoff in the correct spot, but every vault in the meet was right on. I even managed to run from my longest run, 8 lefts. That in itself was a pretty big accomplishment because I had really struggled mentally the last few times I tried to run from that far back. I decided to open the meet at 11 feet (3.36m). My first attempt had the height, but I was on too small of a pole. Thanks to some convincing from the other vaulters I moved up onto my 13'1 ft poles and made the second attempt easily. Just to make that bar was a huge relief! At 11'6 (3.51m) I had another really easy clearance and won the meet! Just like that!

I decided to move the bar to 12' (3.66m), but at that point I had lost my edge. Mentally, I was done. I had accomplished what I had gone out there to do, so I really struggled to keep my focus. Also I had managed to take a spectacular fall in practice the Monday before the meet and hurt my foot a little. It isn't a bad injury, but it is on my takeoff foot and the impact of the jump really bothers it. So between the injury and my lack of focus, I couldn't get it together to make a good attempt at 12'. But regardless of how high I jumped, I am very happy with the result. A win is a win. It feels even better given how much I have struggled in meets lately.

This time next week Geoff and I will be enjoying beautiful Colorado! We are road-tripping it out there to get some much needed time in the Rocky Mountains. We're both looking forward to training at the Olympic Training Center for a week, and getting the chance to catch up with old friends and family. After that, the rest of the season is still undecided. There are a couple of street vaults we are considering in July and August, but depending on how my body is holding up this National Championship may have been the end of my season. We will see!I will be sure to keep you updated on what the next few weeks have in store!

Thanks to everyone for all of the support and encouragement, you have no idea how much it means to me. And a big thanks to my brother and his wife for putting me up last weekend in California! I am sure I wouldn't have had the same result without your help.

PS- To everyone that has been complaining that they can't comment on my posts, I have fixed the problem. Should be open to everyone now. :)