Marissa Kalsey was one of the lower seeds as she entered the 2013 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships, only to finish third with a vault of 12-11½.
The Westminster sophomore won’t be sneaking up on the field this year as the Waynesburg Central graduate has the best vault entering the competition at 13-1½.
“I think I was seeded eighth. Last year at this point, I wasn’t for sure in. It was so stressful,” said the daughter of Rick and Melissa Kalsey. “I proved last year that seed didn’t matter. I’m going to try not to get too comfortable.”
Ramapo’s Michelle Favre cleared 13-3½ to win the national title. MIT’s Lauren Kuntz also cleared 12-11½, but finished second on criterion.
Fellow Waynesburg grad Bradi Rhoades will bring a trio of Lady Titans to the national meet with third-seeded Brooke Mancuso (12-7½) and 11th-seeded Cassidy Shepherd (12-1½) will join Kalsey.
“It’s good to have competition on the team. It helps me,” said Kalsey. “They’re pretty much my competition in every meet.”
Kalsey enters her second national meet on the heels of winning the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships held at Youngstown State last weekend.
Kalsey and Mancuso both cleared 11-3¾, but Kalsey did so in fewer vaults to take the top step on the awards podium. Actually, Kalsey’s winning height was the only height she cleared in her four attempts.
“I came in at (11-3¾) and made it on the first attempt. After that jump, I was just pulling on the pole. I had really good warmups (at 3.75 meters), but I was thinking too much about clearing the height instead of clearing the height,” explained Kalsey. “I was really short on the last three vaults.”
Kalsey hasn’t had to deal with any injury issues this season.
“The quads (quadriceps) are doing well. I’m okay. I talked to a nutritionist. My endurance level is better and my speed went up. I gained some weight,” said Kalsey.
Kalsey will get to spend some time at home before heading to Nebraska Wesleyan in Lincoln, Nebraska, during spring break.
“I get to come home and I’ll do some workouts with my high school coach (Butch Brunell),” added Kalsey.
The Early Childhood Education major takes a very basic approach as she seeks her second indoor All-America finish.
“I need to quit thinking about places and I should get the results I want. I will stay on comfortable poles. I know I can clear 13 (feet) on the 13-7 pole,” said Kalsey. “I have to calm down and be ready.”
Kalsey has her sights set high and if she meets her goal, she would top last year’s winning height.
“Every meet I usually write down a goal and 13-6 was my indoor goal. I know I have it in me,” said Kalsey.
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