She took up pole vaulting ‘as a joke.’ Now she’s headed to Mississippi State.

Emma Hunt kind of laughs at how it all started.

Back in eighth grade, the Ocean Springs student tried out pole vaulting because, well, why not? An athletic student-athlete with a remarkable ability on the soccer pitch and a background in gymnastics, Hunt almost seamlessly took to the airborne sport.

The current Greyhound senior signed to pole vault at Mississippi State last week, punctuating her epic rise in the track and field event.

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