Sophomore reaches new heights

Will Schwietering inspired through pole vaulting


Amira Ali

Sophomore Will Schweitering works on pole vaulting at practice April 10. The April 17 track meet was cancelled.

David Bryant

Looking for growth as an athlete, sophomore Will Schwietering said he was inspired to pole vault by a family friend.

“I started pole vaulting because my dad’s friend did it in college and introduced me to the sport because he thought I would be good at it,” Schwietering said.

Pole vaulting coach Kelly Schneider said Will fit the role of a pole vaulter because of his timing and athleticism.

“The vault is a very technical event, and it demands every part of your body. It takes a total athlete with timing and rhythm to do this event. It’s just something Will can accomplish and put all together,” Schneider said.

Schwietering said the rush of pole vaulting makes the sport different from other track and field events.

“Pole vaulting is a very unique sport in track. I just like the feeling of being in the air, it’s like nothing else and keeps me doing it,” Schwietering said.

Schwietering said improvement depends on repetition and muscle memory, just like other sports, and success is dependent on hard work.

“Pole vaulting is all about learning the technique for it, and as long as you can get that down, that’s how you can achieve new heights as it’s a hard thing to master,” Schwietering said.

Schneider said the combination of Schwietering’s dedication to health and his love for the sport helps him succeed.

“Another strength of his is the way he’s built. He has good speed, strength and just everything you need to be a good vaulter. He is very dedicated to it, and you can tell he loves it,” Schneider said.

Schwietering said his background of parkour helped him improve at pole vaulting, affecting both his physical strength and his body movement.

“With the height comparison, it’s a lot easier to get over because I love heights and just having better upper body strength,” Schwietering said.

Schneider said Schwietering’s natural inclination toward the sport and the hard work he put into pole vaulting has been able to help him rapidly improve and set new heights.

“I’ve seen a huge improvement from last to this year. He was practicing over the summer on the off-season and went to a camp,” Schneider said. “It’s intrinsic to him about how he comes by these things naturally, and it’s obvious that this type of event that just clicks with him.”