GRAND HAVEN, MI — Katie Nageotte has a long list of goals that include pole vaulting at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

For now, the soon-to-be Ashland University graduate can cross off her list winning the 12th annual Grand Haven Beach Vault on Friday at Grand Haven State Park.

“It was so cool,” the Olmsted Falls, Ohio, native said of the beach vault. “The energy was just awesome. It was definitely a little different in terms of getting used to the runway and things like that.

“It was so much fun; I definitely want to do another one.”

Nageotte, who was competing in her first beach games, won the women’s elite division with a vault of 14 feet edging out Nicole Hope, who vaulted a 13-6.

Sean Young won the men’s elite division with a vault of 17-0.

Nageotte said vaulting on the beach was different than vaulting on land.

“It’s definitely different,” she said. “And it’s just something you kind of have to come into knowing it will be different. It’s just about the mindset you have going into it.”

Nageotte already has had a stellar 2013 winning both the indoor and outdoor NCAA Division II national championship for pole vaulting. She said winning the national title was special because she fought what she described as going through a “really bad mental block” in 2012.

“Last year was all about putting things together,” she said. “This past year, it was just everything coming together. It was pretty awesome knowing I still have that potential.”

Also competing in the women’s elite division was 2009 Lowell graduate Richelle Kimble.

“This is a lot more exciting,” Kimble said of the beach vault compared to regular vaulting. “It’s a lot more fun. It’s an event that gathers people for more than just pole vaulting.

“Something about having fun, hanging out with your fellow pole vaulting family. That’s the one thing about pole vaulting is everyone is a family, everyone has a good time together.”

Kimble, who recently graduated from Indiana State University, said her experience pole vaulting for a Division I school was like nothing else.

“There’s nothing like Division I pole vaulting,” she said. “It’s a good time. You excel faster than you expect.”

Kimble was a four-time qualifier for the NCAA Preliminary Round for the Track and Field Championships during her time at Indiana State. She said she also hadn’t done a vault since she graduated.

“This event is a lot about fun for those that aren’t training year round,” said Kimble, who hopes to attend graduate school at Northwestern University. “My teammate and I from Indiana State. Her name’s Nicole Hope. Her and I decided we would make a trip out of it and have a good time.

“So that’s what we are here for.”

Nageotte said she enjoyed the level of competition at the beach vault.

“A lot of these people I had really never met before,” she said. “They were all so much fun, and just vaulting with them, it was such a good energy.”

Nageotte will go to Knoxville, Tenn., to continue pole-vault training until August. In September, she will finish her education at Ashland by studying abroad in Paris for one month.

Nageotte admitted she was a bit disappointed with her last vaults, but still enjoyed the overall experience.

“You always want to be able to jump PRs and jump higher,” she said. “I’m kind of disappointed with my last few (vaults). But you kind of have to take it in stride.

“Vaulting is always fun, when I can get out and do it, especially in an atmosphere like this. That’s so cool.”

Other winners on Friday include: Adam Racette (boys 15-16 division 1), Kim Jackson (girls 15-16 division 1), Noah Gary (boys 15-16 division 2), Brooke Catherine (girls 15-16 division 2), Dakota Cabbage (boys 17-18 division 1), Anna Klaus (girls 17-18 division 1) and Taylor Amann (girls 17-18 division 2).


Grand Vaulter Magazine
Grand Vaulter Magazine

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