Gorder takes vaulting talents to collegiate level

Jalyssa Gorder graduated Sidney High School with two state track titles under her belt. In back-to-back years, Gorder vaulted her way to the championship titles and made an impression on collegiate coaches.

Gorder signed with the University of Montana back in February and is looking forward to playing at a higher level. “It was a tough decision,” Gorder said. “It pretty much came down to the University of Montana, the University of North Dakota and Montana State University. It was a pretty big toss up, so I hope I made the right decision.”

Gorder knew she was scouted, ever since her sophomore year in track and field. The biggest challenge the vaulter had was going to see UND so early on in the season. When choosing, Gorder narrowed off the UND and Montana schools by listening to a younger Gorder, where as a freshman, she had written a note to herself when asked what goals her freshman class had. For reasons beyond herself, she had wrote down UM, which made the decision to decide between the two Montana schools a lot easier since she never leaned one way or the other.

“I just felt like out of the three schools, Missoula was the best choice,” Gorder said. “That and I’m obsessed with western Montana. I hope to eventually live there someday, permanently in the future. So I think that’s another thing that reeled me in.”

Gorder has found many other perks to calling herself a Griz member. Long-time friend and fellow Sidney athlete Elise Torgerson will also be attending UM in the fall, giving Gorder a sense of home while so far away. But the vaulter is also looking forward to meeting new faces and being around different people. Having just found out who her future roommate is, she is looking forward to meeting her as she too is going to be a member of the track team.

Eventually, Gorder plans on attending med school, and she is keeping her options open as far as what exactly she will major in in her undergrad studies. She hopes to get involved in some of the activities that she has missed out on in the past few years with being busy as a vaulter.

“Throughout high school I kind of tapered off from dancing a lot besides the drill team, so I think that is going to help my athletics,” Gorder said.

Gorder said that all of her success has been achieved because of her coach, Steve Yockim, along with all of the other track coaches, and of course to her family. Having a wrestling family and a wrestling coach as a father, Gorder laughed that she was coached well over the years by her dad. “I got the competitiveness from my dad, that’s for sure,” Gorder said and despite her family not knowing a whole lot about track, she was happily surprised of how much they got into the sport this year. “They surprised me this year, especially my mom,” who Gorder said was always examining pictures and helping her daughter out with what she could see when she vaulted.

“Pole vaulting is hard,” she vented. “A lot of people don’t understand that. You could have thrown us out there on any given day and it could have been a completely different situation. Vaulting goes day by day. It’s a head case. I am really excited to see what the program brings forth these next few years. Especially with our new freshmen. I think the tradition is going to continue, and I am really excited.” Gorder said she was impressed with Aubrey Kessel, a young up-and-coming vaulter on the team especially. “I’m excited to see how all of the girls will do next year.”


Gorder Vaulter Magazine
Gorder Vaulter Magazine

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