The Flying Husker - An Interview

(Photo provided by Drew Dockendorf)

Personal Records:

Pole Vault:  14-10
100: 11.5 

5K CC:  21:14.40
High Jump:  5-6

State Meet Appearances:  

True Team State: Pole Vault 2013-17 (2016 - 2nd, 2017 - 1st), High Jump 2016-17

MSHSL State Meet:  2016 Pole Vault - 4th place                                                     

USATF 2015 Indoor 1st place ages 15-16                                        

Who coaches you and how do they help you?  What do they emphasize?

My Parents have been my biggest help in pole vault because they are always there for me and understand me. They really emphasize on staying tight to the pole and trying to extend off the top as much as I can.

Which teammates inspire you or push you to be your best?

There are two main teammates that really help to push me on and keep going. Joseph Meier, and Lance Haren are always cheering me on and wanting me to do the best that I can, and even if I have a bad day they are there to cheer me up.

Is there anyone else that you would like to give credit to for your success in sports?

The main person that has pushed me and helped me get to where I am today would be (former 18'1" PV athlete from Hasting, MN and NDSU) Shawn Francis.  He is a retired elite pole vaulter and he has been my coach during the off season and has helped me through a lot.

Have you been to camps and/or been instructed by some great pole vaulters?

I have been to many camps at Flight Deck Athletics under Steve White and his wife. I have also been coached by Phil Erickson from Concordia University, St.Paul.  He has been coached by some of the best vault coaches in the world.

(Photo provided by Drew Dockendorf)

Where did you grow up and what sports/activities did you do as a young child?  What track & field events do you enjoy the most now?

I grew up in the small town of Holdingford. When I was younger I use to play basketball, baseball, football, and track. I believe this helped me be an all around athlete because I was able to get an understanding of the major parts of all the sports.  The events I enjoy doing the most in track & field are the high jump and the pole vault.

Pole Vaulting requires the most skill of any track & field event.  Do you watch a lot of video?

When I first started jumping I watched a lot of videos and still continue to do so.

What skills are the most important for a young person to take up for pole vaulting?

One of the biggest skills I think is important is the ability to get upside down. I've done many drills on rings and climbing ropes hanging from the rafters. My favorite drive for getting used to being upside down is doing handstands.  I will do 15 to 20 every night before I go to bed.

What is your height and weight?

6'3'' 165lbs

List some fallacies about the pole vault.

I really like how the kids in the pole vault event will, as soon as they meet each other, almost become friends instantly.  The coaches are the same.  They will help you as long as you ask for it.  They don't think twice about helping you, it's almost like you are their vaulter.

You play football, basketball, and track & field.  You have also dabbled in cross country!  Give us a short list of all of your arts, academics, and athletic honors.

My best academic honor is when I was awarded the presidential scholarship to my college.  And my highest vault honor is being recognized as one of the top track athletes at the St. Cloud Times newspaper All-State banquet.(Photos provided by Drew Dockendorf)

How has Mark Alcorn, Girls Track & Field Coach and your former Cross Country Coach helped you? 

Mr. Alcorn has helped me along by pushing me to be my best at all times.

You compete against Eric VanErp of Ottertail Central in all three of your sports.  Do you guys talk at all and if you do what about?  Do you help each other get better?

I have talked to him a few times, mostly about track & field.  We have given each other tips before.

Do you follow or admire any college or professional athletes?

I admire Sam Kendricks, he is my favorite elite vaulter because he seems very humble and overall seems like a great guy, and no doubt a great vaulter.  (Kendricks was the Bronze Medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and former two-time NCAA Champion.)

Have you picked a college yet?  Why did you choose it and what sports do you plan on playing?

I'm going to Concordia University, St. Paul. I chose them because their head coach and vault coach are great guys. Concordia is a great environment and I'm very excited to pole vault there next year.

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