UCLA pole vaulter sets new record in dual meet with USC

Before landing, Mike Woepse had already started his celebratory fist pump.

As he walked to his teammates to hug them, the crowd was erupting in elation – he had just set a new record.

After previously recording an outdoor personal best score of 5.55 meters, Woepse, a senior pole vaulter, succeeded in setting a new personal and meet record of 18-5.25 or 5.62m at Sunday’s UCLA’s track and field meet against USC.

“It’s been over a year since I PRed and the meet record is something I’ve been eyeing since I was a sophomore,” Woepse said. “I’ve wanted it more than anything so it was definitely great to come out here and get it.”

Woepse’s family was in attendance for his last dual meet against USC, and they couldn’t have been happier.

“We’re super excited because he’s been working hard and has been ready to jump high, and to see him do it here at the USC meet was just awesome,” said Greg Woepse, Mike’s older brother. “He works harder than anyone I know and it’s good see it finally show especially at the last home meet.”

Woepse’s family is comprised of Bruin athletes as Greg and his sister Elizabeth competed in the pole vault for the track and field team, and his younger brother Patrick Woepse currently competes on the men’s water polo team.

Pole vault coach Anthony Curran said he has seen the progress Woepse has made in practice and knew it was a matter of time before he would break out.

Woepse missed the national championships last year, but both he and Curran are confident that he will make nationals this year, especially with such an impressive mark to start off the championship season.

“It’s a good start to the championship season, but last year I didn’t make nationals so I gotta take it week by week and perform the way the team and the coaches expect me to,” Woepse said.

This will be Woepse’s last chance at making a run in the NCAA Outdoor Championships this year, and he’s relishing every moment of it.

The hard work he’s put in is paying off, and one could not have asked for a better start heading into the stretch run of the track and field season.

“He’s the hardest working athlete I’ve ever coached, he’s the most dedicated, most focused, and most deserving of the results he’s gotten so this a great opportunity for him to enjoy his final outdoor season here at UCLA,” Curran said.





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