By Parker Salomon
The number one pole vaulter in California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), sophomore Bridgette Graue broke another one of Costa’s Pole vaulting records.
With the help of coach Murray Mead, Grau was able to clear an 12 foot six-inch mark during a meet at Redondo Union High School, which placed first for Costa Varsity. Grau beat the previous Mira Costa varsity record which was held by her at ten feet nine inches.
“I was really happy to beat my record and it showed me that I could improve my pole vaulting game,” Grau said.
After receiving continuous injuries from gymnastics, including a fractured spine and a broken ankle, Grau decided to try pole vaulting and quickly fell in love with the sport last year. Grau said that she applied her excellent work ethic that she earned from gymnastics to pole vaulting, which is what led to her success.
“Pole vaulting is 50 percent track and 50 percent gymnastics which is why I was able to pick up the sport so quickly when I began it last year,” Grau said. “Every time I pole vault, It feels amazing to clear the mark and get a rush of adrenalin.”
So far this season Grau has won around half of her pole vaulting competitions. According to Grau, the main challenge when vaulting is competing against girls who are much older and are more experienced.
“At first, it was intimidating to be competing against girls who were so much older than I was, but I learned to get used to it, and I now see it as a cool experience to compete against more experienced players,” Grau said.
According to Grau, Mead is vital to her success as a pole vaulter. Grau trains every day for three hours and does short sprints and constant vaults to gain vital inches on all of her marks.
“I am used to intense training everyday because I was a gymnast,” Grau said. “My coach pushes me to keep on improving, and I am always open to trying new techniques in order to improve.”
According to Grau, she sees herself pole vaulting for the rest of High School and she hopes to continue vaulting in college. Her goal mark for next year is to reach a 13 foot 1 inch mark which will make her competitive at the national level.
“As her parent I am very proud of her, and I would hope that she continues to vault and pursue her passion,” Brigitte’s mother Ruth Grau said. “I am very supportive of Brigette’s choices, and I believe Vaulting will take her far places”