Heather Glenn remembers a time when she looked up to Sarah Page.
As a Liberty High School freshman and first-year pole vaulter, Glenn learned the basics of the sport from a mentor that eventually went on to become a school-record holder and state champion. Now Page is the one looking up at her former understudy.
Three years later, as a senior, Glenn is the one with the school record. By clearing 12 feet earlier this spring at the Rusty Hodge Invitational at Blue Springs South High School, Glenn set both meet and stadium records while erasing Page’s previous school record of 11-7.
“I’m glad I got the school record, and I hope it stays there awhile,” Glenn said. “… But I feel bad I had to take her record.
“She took me under her wing when I was a freshman and she was a senior. She was like a second coach and helped me understand what I was doing when I was just getting started. Sarah’s one of the reasons why I’ve come so far, and I’m honored to have her record.”
Glenn, who plans to continue her track career in college at Pittsburg State University next year, stands as more than a record holder. She stands as the No. 1-ranked high school pole vaulter in the state of Missouri at the midseason point of the spring season.
“Heather is the best pole vaulter in school history in my book,” Liberty vaulting coaching Wayne Washburn said. “She’s dedicated a lot of time to this sport. She’s accomplished so much to this point, but I believe she can achieve so much more.”
Glenn has been unable to match her school-record vault in recent meets, but neither athlete or coach seem concerned considering the cold and windy conditions have been the main reasons why. In fact, if the weather will ever take a turn for the better, there’s a a good chance Glenn will improve upon her early season performances.
In her most recent outing this past weekend, Glenn cleared 10-6 and placed third at the prestigious Kansas Relays behind two Kansas athletes — Emily Brigham of Mill Valley and Cassie Wait of Gardner-Edgerton. Those three top vaulters planned to face off once more this week.
“I’ve been practicing with a bigger pole that I haven’t even broke out in a meet yet,” Glenn said. “Higher heights are coming. That record will go higher.”
So we shall see in the final month of the season. With the conference championship meet only a week away and the state series right around the corner after that, there’s going to be one ultimate goal: follow in the footsteps of Page.
“Liberty had a state champion pole vaulter three years ago,” Washburn said. “We’re striving to have another.”
Glenn said in conclusion, “I just want to continue to improve my technique, but a state championship would definitely be really nice.”