Louisville’s Gabi Leon experiences ‘pure joy’ winning pole vault national championship

University of Louisville redshirt senior Gabriela Leon went from relative unknown to national champion.

Five years ago, the Grand Rapids, Mich., native was fresh out of high school and participating in the New Balance Championships when the Louisville coaching staff first saw her. Leon had played soccer for much for her youth days, but chose to participate in track and field as her high schools progressed. Still, it took the persuasion of her Algebra teacher to get her into pole vault.

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