OMAHA — For the fourth consecutive year, fans at the state track and field meet at Omaha Burke watched as Catherine Mick vaulted herself to a state championship.
The Bruning-Davenport/Shickley standout won her fourth Class D pole vault championship after clearing 11 feet, 11 inches. The gold medal also made it eight straight years a member of the Mick family has won the pole vault, as Cynthia Mick won it the three years prior, and William Mick won the first title, which started the streak.
“It was definitely a lot of pressure trying to keep my four streak and the Mick eight streak. It was really hard to deal with and I struggled quite a bit with this year, practicing and just getting my rundown to make sure I could get up to the higher heights that I wanted to,” Catherine said. “Once we got here, the pressure was there, but it just helped push me to go faster and vault higher. In the end, it helped a little bit.”
Mick had a busy day Friday, as she also qualified for the 100-meter dash finals and the 100 and 300 hurdles. Mick ran both her hurdles preliminary races before making her first jump in the pole vault.
The field of competition was narrowed down to just Mick and her teammate, Tristen Mosier. Mick cleared 11-2, but Mosier could not, clinching the title for Mick.
But she didn’t stop there.
After vaulting over the bar at 11-11, she tried to break her own Class D state meet record and set the Class D state record by clearing 12-4. But before she could attempt that height, Mick had to go run the 300 hurdles prelims.
“(After the 300 hurdles) I didn’t feel a whole lot different, just a little tired,” she said. “But I had plenty of time to recover, so that helped a lot.”
Mick failed to set the record, but after her third vault, she felt like a weight had been lifted off of her shoulders.
“There was still pressure to go higher than I did last year and get a new record,” Mick said. “I think when (the pressure) was officially gone was when I was done. It just all sunk in that it’s done.”
With Mosier placing second, the Eagles quickly tallied 18 team points. Mosier was glad she could end her senior year with such a strong performance.
“I was just really excited to be here. Last year didn’t go so well, so for my senior year I was just glad to be here,” she said. “I knew I could go pretty decently high, and I had Catherine here to keep pushing me. I was pretty happy.”
Mosier, who tied her personal best with her vault, said Mick has pushed her all season.
“We’re really close. We’ve been doing this for about six years now,” she said. “We both push each other and have excelled. I’ve continued to be pushed by her. She keeps me going. It’s really been fun.”
Mick said the two vaulters have a great chemistry and pick up one another when things aren’t going too well.
“It’s really good to have Tristen there with me, because we’re always there to push each other and encourage each other to do better and vault higher,” Mick said. “I think we balance each other out. When one of us is freaking out the other one is always there to be like, ‘Hey, we’re just having fun.’ That was kind of our motto this year. We’re just having fun and trying to keep the pressure off of us and do our best.”
Giltner’s Jordan Hansen also competed in the pole vault, finishing in a tie for sixth after clearing 9-10.