Dasha Booth is the girl with no fear.

Starting out as a freshman with no knowledge or experience in pole vaulting, Booth has spent the past four years honing her skills and mastering her technique. The result is a season that’s begun in true championship style; a state qualifying height right out the gate, and in the recent Moriarty Easter Triangular, she set a new school record, vaulting 9’9”. Booth says that there’s a lot that goes into pole vaulting, but there’s one thing that’s key.

“You can’t be afraid,” Booth said. “As soon as you start getting scared of it, you start getting this block and you start hurting yourself. Once you get past that, you can learn how to get past everything else. I don’t really think about (my fears). I just focus on my practicing, on doing everything right.”

There’s certainly something fundamentally terrifying about pole vaulting; athletes planting a fiberglass pole causing it to bend uncomfortably and using the energy released upon the pole’s reflex to nimbly rocket themselves up to dizzying heights, acrobatically twisting over a pole, defying gravity. It’s a sport that combines elements of running and jumping, while retaining a unique element all to itself. This year is shaping up to be a solid year for Moriarty’s pole vaulters; junior Aaron Murphy stands at the top of the boys’ side of the roster, having just qualified for state at the recent Moriarty Triangular Invite.

“Dasha is a great teammate,” Murphy said. “She’s always inspiring all of us, telling all of us what we can do better on and we help her in the same way.”

“She’s capable of jumping 10, 10’6” easy,” Coach Tommy Negrete said of Booth’s pole vaulting prowess. “She’s jumping on an 11 (foot pole) but we want to get her jumping on a 12.”

Booth, a senior, said she originally didn’t have much interest in pole vaulting. She had wanted to do running events, but when the option came to try out for jumping events, the pole vault was the one that drew her in. Negrete convinced her to stay with it and hone her skills, Booth said, and for four years she’s done just that.

“I just wanted to get better at something,” Booth said of what motivated her these years. “In freshman year, I just had so much fun that every year I push myself to get better and better.”

Booth’s teammates share much the same reports of Booth as a teammate; motivated, helpful, and to sophomore Sage Bond, she’s somebody to look up to.

“She is funny, she is somebody you look up to,” Bond said. “She’s able to set all these goals and she doesn’t have a big ego. She treats everybody the same.”

Bond recounted a moment during her first day of practice in her freshman year. Wary of her chances of successfully vaulting herself to such daunting heights, Bond recalled hesitating, and Booth, whom she didn’t know at the time, came up to her and helped soothe her nerves.

“She said to me ‘I know you can do this, too. You just have to put your fear aside.’ She’s a really good teammate to have.”




From: http://www.mvtelegraph.com/sports/booth-gunning-for-state-pole-vaulting-title/article_455b6c22-f693-11e5-95e7-6356424bf76e.html


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