Mankato West senior Emma Hartmann remembers the electric feeling she experienced while competing at the Class AA girls track and field meet last season. It’s a feeling she wouldn’t mind experiencing again this spring.
“That was a lot of fun,” said the pole vaulter. “To be up there with the best in the state makes you feel pretty special. I’d love to make it back.”
Going back to state is one of two major goals Hartmann has set this season. The other is to set the school record in the pole vault.
“My (personal record) right now is 10-feet,” she said. “The school record is 10-6 so I’d like to get up to 10-7. That’s a big improvement, but I think it can be done.”
West coach Scott Carlson says Hartmann is the kind of student athlete who usually achieves what she sets out to do.
“Some kids are blessed with great talent, but they don’t put in the work to reach their potential,” he said. “Emma’s not like that. She’s a good athlete, and she puts in a lot of hard work. I don’t think there’s anything she might do that would surprise me.”
When Hartmann reached junior high school she decided to go out for track. A year later, having realized her gymnastics background would be an asset, Hartmann started learning the pole vault.
“The gymnastics helped a lot with the balance part of it,” she said. “I sort of picked (the pole vault) up right away. The last couple of years has just been a question of getting stronger and refining my technique.”
Hartmann is one of many returning student athletes who should make the Scarlets successful again this spring. West finished second in the Big Nine Conference last season, and having lost very few contributors to graduation, should do at least as well or better.