ASHWAUBENON – When Alex Flucke talks about pole vaulting, she smiles.
And why not? The Ashwaubenon senior has won the last two Division 1 girls state pole vault titles and this season she’s looking for one more title before she heads to college.
Before going for the three-peat this spring, though, Flucke got going during the indoor season, winning a state title by clearing 12 feet this past weekend.
Maybe that’s why she says, “Vaulting in the air and falling is just the best feeling ever.”
It’s been quite a ride for Flucke, who almost four years ago had no idea what was in store for her as her freshman year was arriving. Flucke’s sister, Melissa, just wrapped up her second state title in the pole vault and was headed to the University of Minnesota on a scholarship.
“Coming in as a little freshman, I guess I’ll try pole vault, my sister did it, I don’t really care,” Flucke said. “Now it’s my life. I love the pole vault; it’s so fun. It’s gotten me so many places. I can definitely tell from freshman year to senior year how much I’ve changed.”
What hasn’t changed is Flucke’s goal of becoming a three-time state champion in the pole vault.
“I would like to win state again,” she said. “Everyone’s goal is to be the best.”
Flucke’s father, Peter, obviously has an eye for a talented vaulter. After watching Melissa at Ashwaubenon, he’s now had four years of Alex and could tell early on Alex had a chance to excel.
“We’ve always known she was a fairly good athlete; she’s a good runner, she’s strong,” Peter said. “The vaulting, having the program that we have here, with the equipment and the coaching, the history that we’ve had; she just fit right into it.
“She’s got coordination, she’s got good speed, she’s got good strength, she’s got good height.”
Flucke’s success, however, isn’t just a result of being a good athlete. As with any athlete it goes beyond the physical talent.
“It’s a matter of showing up, putting it all together,” Peter Flucke said. “Sometimes they have it, sometimes they don’t, but with kids performing at this level, most of the time they have it. She thrives on that pressure.
“All of those things make her a very good pole vaulter, along with incredible amounts of practice.”
Flucke, who set the Division 1 state record last season at the state meet with a height of 12-6, is following Melissa to the University of Minnesota next year, which ends a run of Fluckes at Ashwaubenon. It’s been quite a run.
“It’s been a privilege to sit back and try to give them what they need to be the best they can be and not get in their way,” Peter said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”