Everything was working right for Lake Forest High School pole vaulter Carly Schmidt today at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston as she became the Illinois state champion but it was not perfect for an athlete with Olympic aspirations.
After a fourth-place medal last year and a State Meet that disappointed her, Schmidt was focused on correcting every mistake and adding perfection in 2013. It paid off with a leap of 13-0, a foot higher than anyone else in the event, and a gold medal.
Earlier: Schmidt, Schlachtenhaufen Advance to State Track Finals
“Everything was right,” Schmidt said. “It’s been coming (along) all year. The last two weeks I really got in a groove. I really felt comfortable.”
What disappointed Schmidt was falling short of the 13-3 state record which has stood since 2004. After clearing 13-0, she asked officials to raise the bar to 13-4 going for a new mark rather than a tie. Her three attempts were close but fell short.
“I had the height,” Schmidt said. “Then I said ‘oh shoot’ on the way down,” she added describing how she hit the bar after clearing it.
This event marked the sixth statewide competition for Schmidt—four times in track and twice in gymnastics. Only two Scouts have gone to more, Victoria Jackson and Jillian Schwartz. Schwartz went on to compete in college and in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic games in the pole vault.
“That’s the plan,” Schmidt said referring to Schwartz’s success. “I’m going to be vaulting in college the next four years and then maybe something will happen for me like it did for Jillian (Schwartz),” she added expressing her desire to take part in the Olympic games one day.
Schmidt’s 10 points enabled the Scouts to finish 27th as a team. Helen Schlachtenhaufen placed 11th in the 1,600-meter run with a 5:07.59 clocking while Elle Chode ran a 12:00.76 in the 3,200.
Schmidt’s state championship was the Scouts’ fourth this school year. The girls’ tennis team, the field hockey squad and the girls’ hockey players all brought championship hardware home to the Lake Forest High School trophy case.