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Five Nations w/ Team USA
I returned from Scotland yesterday with Team USA. The Five Nations Match was in Glasgow, Scotland this past weekend. The teams were USA, Russia, Germany, UK, and Commonwealth. I have heard about this competition every year and thought it sounded fun, however some years it falls on the same weekend as the Pole Vault Summit and they don’t always have women’s pole vault. This year it was the weekend after the Summit and there was no other big competition in the States for women’s pole vault this weekend so I decided why not jump over the pond for a quick trip to represent team USA and compete against a few of the world’s best?! I got to Glasgow on Thursday and Left Sunday morning, so it was definitely a quick trip there and back. The weekend was fun to be a part of the team, especially because our sport is so individual so sometimes it’s just what you need to cheer on “teammates”. Also, just like World Indoors last year, the trip was great to hang out with athletes in other events. I was the only vaulter from the US so it was nice catching up with friends from other events that I don’t always get to hang out with.
Saturday was the competition at a new arena. This was the first competition held at this place and it was a sold out crowd of 5,000 fans! What a great atmosphere. It’s awesome to see the great following track and field has over there…much different then here in the States. As for my competition, I felt pretty decent down the runway. Ed, a USA coach said he would catch my steps, which was very nice of him. This was my first meet in a while without my coach with me. It was a bit challenging to figure out what adjustments I needed to make, but I knew that would be a part of this weekend. In warmups I felt great running down the runway, but my mid and takeoff steps were all over the place. I would be way under, then out, then under again and it was kind of frustrating for me because I felt I was running the same every time. I just took a deep breath and told myself to have fun and just hit my cues when the bar went up. I came in at 4.20 (13’9) just to get a bar in. Then cleared 4.35 (14’3) on my first attempt as well. I actually hit right on my marks for 4.20 and 4.35 which was great considering my warmups! 4.50 (14’9) was the next bar. My first two attempts were not the greatest because I ran myself under and that is never good. I swung upside down but things were not lining up. For my third attempt I just took a deep breath and told myself I’ve cleared this bar easy many times. ”Don’t push out the back, just run, and hit my cues”. Well I did just that and hit a great vault on my 3rd attempt, however my standards were too close and I blew through…plenty of hip height on the backside…so frustrating!! I told myself though that 1. I followed my cues on the 3rd attempt and didnt run harder, or freak out (good!) 2. this was my first meet without a coach in a while so I did the best I could at making adjustments on my own 3. I had fun and although I wanted to do much better, I went overseas, felt a bit jet lagged, but still cleared a couple heights and scored a couple points for team USA :) I always try and pick out the positives from every competition, regardless of the outcome.
After the competition I went to sit in the athlete seats and on my way up I was stopped by tons of kids wanting autographs and pictures. It was so cool! I know I say this a lot, but I still can’t believe people want my autograph!! I love it and I love meeting the fans and hopefully making their day :) I know seeing them makes MY day! Also, a guy I met in September at the Great North City Games over there in Newcastle asked me for an autographed USA shirt for a donation. I thought this was pretty cool that once again someone would want my autograph! A picture of me giving him the shirt is on my photos page!
Now I am back in Boston, having a day of sleeping in, relaxation, unpacking, laundry & checking things off my To Do List. This weekend I am competing in the Boston New Balance Grand Prix, which I am so excited for! It will be a great competition and also wonderful not to travel :) I think I may have a little fan club there too which will be awesome! Until my next post…thanks for following & always cheering! Follow me on twitter at @SaxDefyGravity
Mon Jan 28th, 2013