Mary Saxer is a National Champion and world class professional pole vaulter from Buffalo, New York. With a personal best vault of 4.71 meters (15' 5.5), Mary trains in Boston, Massachusetts under her personal coach Danny Wilkerson. Sometimes she still returns to her alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, in South Bend, Indiana to train as well.
Mary's pole vault journey began in her hometown of Lancaster, NY where she attended Lancaster High School. Mary specialized in sprints and long jump, becoming a 4-time state long jump champion. While attending a long jump camp, Mary was encouraged to try pole vaulting. It quickly became obvious that Mary was a natural. She excelled at the event, clearing 12'5 and placing second at Indoor Nationals during her first year in the event. During her senior year, Mary became the first high school girl to clear 14'. She broke the high school girls' national record 7 times while at Lancaster, broke the National Junior Record (for the 19 years old and under age group), was a three-time National High School Champion in the vault, and still holds the New York state record. She graduated from high school with a personal best jump of 14'2". There was no doubt that Mary had a future in pole vaulting after high school.
Mary received a full scholarship to attend the University of Notre Dame. There she became the school record holder, a three-time Big East Conference Pole Vault Champion, a two-time NCAA All-American, and placed 3rd at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor National Championships under coach Jim Garnham, a fellow Buffalo native. She graduated from the prestigious university in 2009 with a degree in Marketing.
Mary chose to continue vaulting in pursuit of her Olympic dreams after graduation. Her first year of post-collegiate competition, under Coach Wilkerson, demonstrated that her talent would allow her to compete at the highest level of the sport. That year she vaulted a personal best of 4.50 meters (14'9") and placed 3rd at the 2010 Outdoor U.S. National Championships.
Mary burst onto the world scene in 2011, breaking the 15' barrier with a personal best vault at the time of 4.60 meters (15'1"). In 2012 Mary vaulted her personal best at the time of 4.62 meters to place 2nd at Indoor U.S. Nationals and earn herself a spot on the 2012 U.S. Indoor World Championship Team. In 2013, Mary finished the year ranked 9th in the world and 2nd in the U.S. During her impressive 2013 season she placed 2nd behind the world record holder at the Shanghai Diamond League, finished 3rd at Indoor U.S. Nationals, and she cleared the World Championship "A" standard of 4.60m (15'1") nine times.
In her 2014 season, she inched her personal record up to 4.71 meters (15'5.5"). Along with improving her personal best, Mary was the 2014 Indoor U.S. National Champion and placed 8th at the 2014 Indoor World Championships. She finished that year ranked 11th in the world. 2016 proved to be one full of highs and lows. Mary tied her personal best with a jump of 4.71 meters to kick off the year. However a calf injury sidelined her from several world class competitions and from vault practice leading into the Olympic Trials. She fought her way back and made the Olympic Trials Final, but unfortunately fell short of her goal of representing the U.S. at the Rio Olympics.
2017 has been a strong and steady one for Mary as she made the podium at Indoor U.S. Nationals with a jump of 4.65 meters (15'3) and finished the indoor season back on the top 10 world list (7th to be exact). She's vaulting better than ever and ready to soar to new heights as she eyes the World Championships in London this summer.
As Mary pursues her dreams, she feels truly blessed to have such an amazing support system in her family, friends, and sponsors. Her husband Justin Sibears, her parents Ann and Don Saxer, and her coach Danny Wilkerson have been at her side throughout her journey.