Popiel Qualifies for AAU Junior Olympic Championships

Avon Lake resident and Learwood Middle School student Sophie Popiel finished her debut pole vault season in style by qualifying for the AAU Junior Olympic National Championships at the national qualifier meet in Springfield, Ohio, on June 29. Her performance capped an exceptional season where she won the middle school Southwestern Conference Championship and the Ohio State Seventh Grade Championship for girls pole vault in addition to the Springfield qualifier.

Her Springfield performance required her to overcome temperatures exceeding 98 degrees, which caused a number of competitors to achieve no heights.

Popiel will be entering the eighth grade at Learwood this fall and jumped a personal best of 8′ 3″ this season. Popiel’s jumps at the middle school Ohio State meet also placed her third among all eighth-graders (this fall’s ninth-grade year group) for the state of Ohio.

Popiel is coached by her grandfather, Jim Albrecht, also of Avon Lake.

Albrecht, a former Ohio State and Big Ten champion and record holder himself during his college days at Northwestern University, has coached some of the areas best pole vaulters for decades.

by: Jerry Popiel



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