NEW BRITAIN – Monday afternoon as Weston’s Emily Savage got set to make her first attempt to clear 13-feet in the pole vault, the stadium speaker came on. The meet announcer made known Savage had just set a CIAC Open record in the event, vaulting 12-6.
With all eyes on her and the runway her personal stage, that’s where Savage feels most comfortable. And she didn’t disappoint.
“I like the attention,” Savage said. “I like knowing people are watching so I can put on a show kind of thing.”
It’s not an arrogant statement, but more of a confidence thing for the ninth-best pole vaulter in the nation. Savage set the State Open record and took first place Monday afternoon at Willow Brook Park. Her performance capped off an undefeated spring season. The last time she lost a meet came in March at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York.
“It’s hard to be consistent, but she is,” said Savage’s pole vaulting coach Tim St. Lawrence, who runs the Hudson Valley Flying Circus Pole Vault Academy in Warwick, N.Y.
Savage, who trains in Warwick as well as Weston, said it’s extra motivation having St. Lawrence in attendance along with her school coaches.
“I try and see her every time I can,” St. Lawrence said with a grin. “She makes the trips down to the barn so now it’s my turn. I enjoy making the trip.”
Savage’s meet record at 12-6 wasn’t what she wanted, but considering the situation, it was a great day for one of the best pole vaulters the state of Connecticut has ever seen.
At last week’s Class M meet, after soaring 13-feet, Savage upped the ante and attempted 13-3. On one of her tries, the bar rebounded and collided with her chin. The result: six stitches and barely missing a new personal record.
“Tremendous comeback after taking six stitches last week,” St. Lawrence said. “Had a great jump at 13, her timing was a little off today, but a good performance coming back.”
Teammate Jane Wall finished tied for fourth place (10-6). Savage will now prepare for Saturday’s New England Championships at Willow Brook Park. It will be her last high school meet in the state of Connecticut before she heads off to the University Oklahoma this fall. St. Lawrence said he’s excited to see what she can produce this Saturday and in the near future.
“She’s been in her backyard (Connecticut) and it’s been nice, and she’s come through,” he said. (But) there’s a lot more to her.”