NORMAL — Lauren Seaver likens her event to a “roller coaster ride of emotions.”
One emotion the University High School pole vaulter won’t have to worry about anymore is the stress of selecting a college. The two-time state medalist has picked Indiana University.
“Now I can just enjoy my vaulting this year,” said Seaver, whose outdoor career best of 12 feet, 3 inches has only been surpassed by nine others in Pantagraph area history. “I’m hoping I can get some PRs (personal records) this year that I wasn’t able to obtain last year.
“This season I’m not really focusing on height goals because I’ve noticed that doesn’t really work for me. This year, I’m hoping to really focus on my technique because I know with technique, height comes.”
Seaver, who took up the sport as a freshman, placed third in last spring’s Class 3A state meet and placed fifth in 2A in 2015. She sees a lot to love about the pole vault.
“It’s a roller coaster ride of emotions,” she said. “You end every meet failing three times. So the payoff is when you get past that and meet your goal or sometimes you exceed your goal. It makes all the bad days and the failures just that much better. It makes it worth it.
“The best part of the sport is also the most frustrating and worst part. They kind of go hand in hand.”
Seaver credits her success to the Flying Dragons Pole Vault Club.
“I wouldn’t be where I am without all of the coaches that are there,” she said. “I cannot rave about that place enough. It has done a lot for me from an athletic standpoint, but also has done a lot to develop me as a person as well.”
Flying Dragons coach Mike Cockerham believes Indiana landed a winner.
“She’s one of the most dedicated athletes I’ve ever coached as far as commitment, sacrifice and work ethic,” Cockerham said. “She has a really bright future.”
Seaver was impressed by Indiana assistant coach Jake Wiseman, who has produced 13 All-Americans and eight Big Ten Conference champions in the pole vault. His female athletes have gone as high as 14-11.
“I picked them because Coach Wiseman is an absolutely amazing coach,” Seaver said. “He’s taken a lot of girls and guys very, very far. He’s very personable and I love the interaction he has with his athletes; his philosophy with the vault.
“I really took to the team. The campus was absolutely gorgeous. It’s in close proximity to home so I’m hoping Mike (Cockerham) and my parents can come and watch my meets.”
Seaver, who is leaning toward kinesiology as a major, also considered Michigan, North Carolina and Northeastern.