Too many coaches can often lead to confusion, but for Augusta Thomason it has led her to heights she has never reached before.
The Rancho Bernardo High senior pole vaulter has worked with several different instructors over the years, taking bits and pieces of information from each and putting it all together for a run at the San Diego Section title this season.
Thomason, who transferred from Rancho Buena Vista to Rancho Bernardo for her senior year, did not have a vault higher than 10-feet last season. But she has already cleared 12-feet this year and is the current leader in the section.
“I have worked with a lot of different coaches over the years,” said Thomason, a longtime gymnast before giving the pole vault a whirl as a sophomore. “I have been learning a bit of everything and over time it has finally all come together.”
Now she is in the hands of arguably the greatest pole vault coach in the section in the Broncos’ Tom Martin. The longtime coach has only had Thomason for a short stint thus far, but he sees a lot of good things with her.
“She runs really well speed wise and has great mechanics,” he said. “She made a huge jump (in height) already this season, but I think she can go a lot higher … The upside is huge right now.”
Thomason knows she can go higher, too.
“My goal to start the year was to hit 12-feet,” she said. “But now I am definitely raising the bar. I am looking at 13-feet by the end of the season. I am definitely not stopping yet. There is much more height up there.”
Thomason went all-in with the pole vault after suffering a back injury during gymnastics before her freshman year. She decided to take a year off of all sports and then her older brother, Jamie Volnierek, a former pole vaulter in high school, convinced her to try the sport.
“I thought he was crazy,” Thomason said. “I was a gymnast and that is what I did. But I gave it a try and really enjoyed it. It became my life.”
Thomason has competed in four invites this year, winning them all. She cleared 12-feet in a dual meet at Ramona on March 27. She won the Mt. Carmel Invite on March 29 with a vault of 11-8. Last week, she only needed to clear 10-6 to win at Canyon Crest Academy, a height she never reached until this season.
“It is exciting to see her improve so much because she works so hard,” Martin said. “She has gone to so many camps and invested so much time into it. She is really passionate about it so it is really cool to see her finally get the rewards from the hard work. Not everybody gets to do that. You can go to every camp, clinic and coach, but if you don’t have the talent it is just not going to happen.”
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