Freshman status hasn’t hindered Frederick’s performance

Imagine hoisting yourself 11 feet into the air, then gracefully floating over the bar and finally falling onto the cushioned mat below. On a regular basis, freshman Loper pole-vaulter Brooke Frederick tackles this feat. Could you do it?

For most people, the answer would be no, yet Frederick finds an exhilarating thrill in it. Frederick began vaulting as a freshman at Hershey High School following her older brother into the sport. “I started vaulting because my older brother had done it. I have looked up to him for as long as I can remember, and he has been a leader to me.” She also credits her close relationship with her coach in Hershey, Greg Miller. “He was also a father-figure,” she said

Even as a freshman and sophomore in high school, Frederick had extraordinary marks as she placed third in the state meet at Omaha Burke. The next year Frederick returned to state and claimed the title with a 10’10” jump. As a senior, she peaked at state with an 11’6.5” vault, defending her state champion title while setting a new state meet record in her class.

Although she was unsure about collegiate athletics at first, it was obvious that an athlete of Frederick’s caliber needed to continue. Inevitably, Frederick joined the Loper squad due to the proximity of UNK to her hometown.

Frederick’s work ethic and success has not diminished as a freshman in college. Currently, Frederick has placed first at all of her collegiate meets, and she has achieved a new personal best with an astounding 11’7.5” jump. Goal setting is an important mechanism for Fredrick. Although she had been stagnant at 11’6”, Frederick finally hit the 12’ mark.

As one can imagine, it would be intimidating as a freshman competing at a collegiate level. However, Frederick has balanced that fear with the desire to be successful.  “Being a freshman, I am viewed just like everyone else. I mean, the upper classman like to tease me, but I enjoy it. Because I am a freshman, I don’t know my role on the team yet. I try to be a leader and most importantly, work hard, hoping everyone will follow.”

The only significant difference Frederick noticed between high school track and collegiate track is the competitiveness and the effectiveness of the workouts: “They are more constructive and prepare me better,” she said.

As far as meet days are concerned, Frederick noted her weakness to superstition. “I wear everything the same to each meet.” She also eats lightly before her meet and listens to the same music just to coincide with her superstitious beliefs.

As the Loper indoor season continues, Frederick hopes to continue her perseverance and work ethic in order to place well at conference and qualify for nationals.

“People tend to visualize the jump before beginning to vault. I don’t really like to think very much. One thing I do before my vault is thank my past coach from Hershey. He passed away this past November. I pray to him before every meet and ask him to watch over me and help me do the best I can possibly do.”

Despite her superstitions and dire need for a routine on meet days, Frederick shattered the UNK school pole vault record at the Loper’s home invite on Feb. 8.Two nights before the upcoming meet, Frederick lost her right Nike sock and was panicked. She even posted information about the missing sock on Facebook in attempts to find it. Frederick did not expect to set a new personal record vault of 12’ 4.75”





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