Natasha Masterson vaulted herself into University of Texas history last week.
She became the first Longhorn to ever win a Big 12 women’s pole vault championship.
If not for a random encounter at summer track camp, Masterson may have never lifted herself to such heights. As she entered her junior year in high school, she’d never touched a pole vault. Then, her dad signed her up for track camp at UT.
“I was always that kid that said I would never pole vault,” Masterson said.
Frustrated by the basic instruction at events she’d already done, she turned her attention to a much taller obstacle.
“I was talking with some girl. She said, ‘You should just come hang out with me at pole vault,'” Masteron said. “It did take a little while. I’m the kind of person that if I don’t feel like I’m really good at it right away, I don’t want to do it.”
It didn’t take that long. Less than two years later, she was a Texas high school state champion and pole vaulted her way to the University of Texas.
It wasn’t until late in her freshman year at UT that the momentum finally slowed. A health issue sidelined her, followed by a quad injury her sophomore year and then a torn meniscus this winter.
“There were sometimes where I didn’t know if this is what I was supposed to be doing. If I keep getting hurt, am I really supposed to be out here?” Masterson said.
Any doubts were put to rest with her Big 12 Championship last week. Natasha and the Longhorns will now take on the NCAA Regional Meet this weekend. She needs to finish in the top 12 to reach the NCAA Championships.
“I really want to be an All American. That’s the best goal for me to set for myself right now,” Masterson said.
By: Ricky Doyle