Nikki Chang already broke her own school record in the pole vault earlier this season.

Now the senior from Sarasota High is looking to soar to even greater heights next year at Florida International University.

Chang was one of five senior Sailors who officially signed their national letters of intent on Thursday at the school’s media center.

Chang caught the attention of FIU, and other colleges, when she cleared a personal best of 11 feet in what is still a relatively new event for women’s track and field.

“I’ve always been the type to try new things,” Chang said of her love of the pole vault. “It was something I never got to do in middle school. I thought it looked like a lot of fun.”

Aside from being fun, the pole vault will pay for Chang’s college education.

Although Chang is also a successful 100- and 300-meter hurdler, FIU wants her to focus on pole vaulting.

“I like running the hurdles, but I like pole vaulting better,” Chang said.

“It’s all about core muscles and timing. Once you get good at something there is always some more you can do.

“I’m excited about a new beginning.”

Chang received offers from other schools, as well.

“I didn’t want to go too far,” she said. “I wanted to stay in the state.

“I love the size of the school. It’s not too big of a campus. I like that it’s located in Miami, which is a lot like here.”

Chang will have a fellow senior Lady Sailor attending FIU, but not to compete in track and field.

By: Jim Brockman

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Nikki Chang

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