by NICK ALVARADO/Editorial Assistant
Morgan Hartsell has set the bar higher at every meet she takes part in.
“I’m a sophomore, so this is my second year pole vaulting,” Hartsell said.
As a freshman, she broke the school record in pole vault outdoors, which is 13.00-75.
“This year, I have to out-do myself,” says Hartsell. “I can’t leave it out there.”
She recently placed first at the NJCAA Indoor National Championships meet after clearing a height of 12-7.5, setting an indoor school record that was previously set by her this season.
“I’ve been having a rough season so far,” Hartsell says. “Jumping 12-7.5, I wanted to break our indoor record again, which I held, but didn’t want it to be last year’s. I wanted to make Coach (Chris) Beene proud with the championship.”
As a student at Frenship High School, Hartsell participated in many events, including pole vault, while on the track and field team.
“I did pole vault, high jump, hurdles, mile relay, and kinda whatever coach wanted me to do,” Hartsell explained. “These girls are really fast here, so all I do is pole vault now.”
Hartsell described her high school success as “on-track,” until her junior and senior year.
“As a sophomore, I jumped 11-6, which is pretty good,” recalls Hartsell. “My junior and senior year, I had the worst mental block of my life, where I didn’t get any better for two years, and that was really tough,” Hartsell said. “Coming here and Coach Beene helping me PR by a foot and a half is very significant. So it was good there but it could have been better.”
Before track, Hartsell participated in lots of cheer and gymnastic events in order to lead up to track events.
“I used to do lots of other things, and everything that led me here, with gymnastics, cheer and dancing and all that,” says Hartsell. “But now, honestly, it’s just pole vault and school work all the time. So just trying to keep engineering and track together is enough on its own.”
Hartsell also tries to hang out with friends whenever time allows.
“I try to,” Hartsell said. “When I get bored, my friend and I go to the gym. So my life consists of anything that’s athletics.”
Being involved in gymnastics has helped Hartsell become successful in pole vault.
“The fear factor helped,” Hartsell says. “and just knowing where your body is at in the air. There’s definitely a factor.”
Her future plans include graduating from SPC in May and then attending the University of Arkansas.
“I will be starting summer school at the University of Arkansas, where I’ll be pole vaulting probably in the next three years,” says Hartsell. “They will probably redshirt me a little here and there.”
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