CHARLES TOWN – Caysie Irving lives in a virtual menagerie.
There’s a cat and a dog – pretty much like many households. She also has a pet mouse, two newts and a fish tank.
She’s also had iguanas and lizards, as well as other cats and dogs and other animals in the past.
“I grew up around animals; I like caring for them,” Irving said.
She wants to continue to care for them on a more professional level and will begin a path in that direction next fall when she attends West Virginia Wesleyan as a student-athlete. Her ultimate career ambition is that of a veteranarian or marine biologist.
Beside studying biology, the recent graduate of Washington will compete on the Bobcats’ track and field team as a pole vaulter. She signed her letter-of-intent earlier this season.
“I toured the campus, and I liked it,” Irving said. “It was a smaller school.”
Although she had other interest, she jumped – rather, vaulted – at the opportunity the Division II school in Buckhannon presented.
“Pre-vet or marine biology have always interested me,” Irving said. “I’ve gone back and forth. It’s anything with animals; that’s what I like to do.”
She offers an intesting juxtoposition: she has an inherent care for animals, yet she has a devil-may-care attitude for herself as a pole vaulter.
It’s the other, obviously, more daring side of her that allows her to compete in the pole vault.
She cares about that athletic endeavor, too, as evidenced by the weight-training she added as a senior to help her improve. She increased her height by a foot between her 11th- and 12-grade years.
She had a successful senior season, finishing third in the state meet to win her first medal after two previous tries. Irving had hoped to do better, but she was using a pole she had held for the first time only moments before the actual competition. Her usual pole had been broken on the eve of the meet.
“That was a little disappointing, but…” Irving said.
She understood the difficult circumstances.
She understands that she has a future in the sport at West Virginia Wesleyan, too.
Irving will care for her academics and athletics for the Bobcats.