“If you never lose then you can never appreciate the victories.”

-Laura Twitchell

Last year at the Stanford Invite I had a great big no-height…  No matter the meet, no matter the day, a no-height in the vault always stings.  But I am so grateful to say that is not the case for this year’s Stanford Invite!  Yesterday I competed in the Invitational section and actually placed second clearing a height of 3.98m (13ft).  I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was hoping for a higher height, but I am completely stoked on the mental aspect of what happened yesterday.  For the first time in a long time I felt like I was out there to compete.  Now let me explain what I mean.

It is strange being a post collegiate emerging elite athlete.  You are no longer affiliated with a college, you no longer wear that logo and compete for that team… you don’t travel with teammates who get you pumped and energized… and your biggest competition is yourself and the national standards you are trying to chase.  And sometimes it is difficult to feel that competitive edge in a meet when you don’t have that tangible “rival team” or “school pride” to light that fire under your belt.  But something switched back on yesterday when I realized that I was in second place and that I could win the meet by clearing 4.13m.  I was pumped!  Now its true that I didn’t clear it and I ended up in second place, but what really matters is that fire was back!  And now I just need to remember to light it each time I step on the runway in a meet.  In college I was a pressure jumper; I always performed best on third attempts or in Championship settings. Yesterday was a great day to be reminded of that.

A quick shoutout to all the Bay Area support I got yesterday! Thanks to Joe Wagstaffe and Stanford Track and Field for allowing me to compete! Thanks to Bryan and Lori Valko for cheering me on from the stands!  Thanks to Robbie and Chantelle Wilder; my Team SOAR interim coaches for the day!  Thanks to my Hawaiian mama Sharon for bringing me Kind Bars and Trail Mix all the way from the islands!  Thanks to Camie for filming my jumps! And thanks to Lizzy and Rob for catching my step and giving me the push to vault higher!

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Robbie and Chantelle sportin the SOAR swag!!!

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Sharon!

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First clearance of the day!