Cameron Poole can’t help but smile when she reflects on her first year pole vaulting.

She was in seventh grade and had just recovered from a broken leg. The injury proved to be a setback. Of the 20 seventh-grade girls pole vaulting for the Hal Peterson Middle School track team, she estimates that she was the worst. Not once did she qualify for a meet.

“Maybe, pole vaulting isn’t your thing,” people often told her. Poole politely ignored the suggestion. She had already made up her mind — somehow, some way, she was going to excel at pole vaulting.

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