Erin Diemer has aspirations of being a Division I pole vaulter.
In just over a month, her recruitment window opens and she can start gauging interest from the next level.
A strong finish today in the Girls Track and Field State Championship Meet will solidify her already impressive credentials.
The two-time Hoosier Heritage Conference champion, three-time sectional champ and now a three-time state championship meet qualifier, is seeded fourth in the state’s biggest meet held in Bloomington.
A repeat performance of her runner-up finish at the regional where she cleared a personal-best and school-record height of 11 feet, six inches, should get her on the podium.
Diemer would be the first Shelbyville girl to do so since Sarah Snapp won the 2008 state championship in the 100-meter hurdles.
“I have a good chance of getting on the podium, which is always the goal, but this year I have a very strong, very strong chance,” said Diemer on Tuesday.
After qualifying for the state meet as a freshman, Diemer failed to clear the opening height on the campus of Indiana University. She admitted her nerves proved tougher to conquer than the bar balanced more than 10 feet high.
Last year, she cleared 10-9 to finish 14th.
Controlling her emotions is less of a problem now.
“My Dad asked me the other day if I was nervous about state,” said Diemer. “I said, ‘No. This is my third time. It’s nothing new any more.’”
There are 28 pole vaulters at the 2016 state meet. Pike senior Sandra Brown, who finished fourth at the 2015 state meet, was the only vaulter to clear 13 feet at the regional. Her height of 13-2 makes her the favorite.
Madison’s Maddie Holland, who was third in 2015, cleared 12-1.25 at the regional.
After those two comes Diemer, Columbus North’s Katrina May and Angola’s Ariana Cranston. All cleared 11-6 last week, which was a big milestone for Diemer.
“My second 11-3 vault was really good but I skimmed (the bar) just a little bit. My third one wasn’t that good but the bar bounced and stayed up there,” recalled Diemer. “I took three attempts at 11-6 and got the third one. And three at 11-9 and by the time I was done, I had taken 16 vaults and was dead at the end.”
With a more efficient performance, Diemer believes she could have cleared 11-9 at the regional.
“If you watch the video, I was pretty high over 11-6,” she said.
“If I vault like I did at the regional, I think 12-0 is a strong possibility.”
And that height gets the attention of Division I track and field coaches.
“Coaches cannot really talk to me until July 1 so all I can do is compare myself to other vaulters,” said Diemer. “Let’s see what happens Friday. If I do well, I should get a lot of interest.
“Twelve feet is the scholarship setting for Division I and I’m six inches away.”