By Jeremy McDonald
SPRINGFIELD, Ore.—North Salem’s India Watson experiences with Cross Country and gymnastics had helped steer the Viking Junior into the sport of Pole Vaulting.
One sport gave her discipline in Cross Country. Gymnastics gave her the motivation in trying new and exciting things like Pole Vaulting.
“Cross Country has given me discipline and gymnastics kind of gave me this love of weird and exciting dangerous things. When I heard Pole Vault was a sport I thought ‘why not try something new?’” said Watson. “It’s been fun, I’ve been getting back into it so today was an off-day, but next time I’m going to do way better.”
She arrived at Springfield High School Saturday afternoon to partake in the State Championships with 16 other girls looking to knock off the rust and compete for the title on the line for them.
It was an off-day for the North Salem vaulter, failing to record a height in her three jumps in this meet sadly, but knows what to work on when she returns to practice moving forward.
“Oh it was amazing. I learned that I need to accelerate at the end of the run, drive my knee better during take-off, have a better swing with my back leg. A bunch of things that I’m going to work on in practice,” said Watson.
McKay’s Brandon Reaves talked about his rusty-ness as the Scotsman Pole Vaulter finished eighth in the meet with a pole-bending ten-feet-ten-inch jump in the Guy’s Meet earlier in the day.
“I barley scooted by,” smiled and joked Reaves. “I’ve only gotten five practices in before I even came out here. I’m just happy I got out here and have fun.
“For me I just need to get…I’m still getting back into the swing of things. I especially need to focus on remembering the core things that we’re working on in practice. A couple of core things we’ve worked on, I’ve crumbled and I revert back to an old vaulting style that I use to do. So it’s really important for me to remember what I’m being taught now.”
South Salem’s Anthony Salisbury had PR’d in the meet in his seventh-place finish in the event, leaping 11-feet-3.75-inches Saturday afternoon. Thanking the tail-wind they had that helped him set a personal best on this day.
“I think it was the tail-wind, it’s really windy so there was a lot of speed behind the pole,” said Salisbury. “Which helped me a lot. Practicing a lot too helped.”
The Vikings Austin Cates came close twice in clearing 12-feet-one-inch Saturday, admittingly pointed towards his runaway approach closing into the bar and pad as the reason behind the struggles he had in the meet and something to work on moving forward.
“Mostly the run. The last few steps I was really striding out, which hurt my speed and hurt my takeoff,” said Cates. “By the time I got into the air, get ready to get over the bar I came up short.”
Barlow’s Conrad Greely won the event with a jump of 15-feet-3-inches in the guys division.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald