A new school record has been set in pole vaulting by Taylor Radack ‘23!
Taylor first discovered Track & Field in the 7th grade.
“I had just changed schools, was pretty fast, ultra-competitive, and it gave me a place to belong,” she said. “I was a sprinter, long jumper, and high jumper at the time.”
One day at practice, she looked over to her coach and asked what the pole vaults were. Right then and there, she decided that’s what she wanted to do. However, she couldn’t start until high school.
“I put my goal on the backburner until freshman year at Ursuline,” she said. “Eventually I was able to start practicing mid-sophomore year.”
Now, she’s been pole vaulting for a full year and loving every minute of it. She said setting Ursuline’s new pole-vaulting record feels a little unreal.
“There is something magical about records, especially in Track & Field where it's so clear cut. You work for seasons just to reach the best score of someone you’ve never met,” she said. “I have stared at that record list for so long just imagining what it would be like to get that height. It really feels bigger than me because one day it might be my name an Ursuline pole vaulter stares at to remind herself why she is going to get on a pole that might scare her, why she won't hesitate at the end of a runway, and why she is putting in all the hours she has.”
When it comes to pre-meet traditions, Taylor has two.
The first, she does the night before. Sitting in her room, she’ll put on headphones and listen to music while she changes out the spikes on her shoes. The second, involves waking up early and doing her hair before a meet.
“I don't know why I started it originally,” she said. “But it makes me feel confident. I like to joke that if you look cute, you vault cute!”
Best advice she’s received by a coach? To trust it.
“In the moment, my coach meant to trust my new mark and the new pole I was on but, throughout my progression in this crazy sport, I have realized that a lot works out if you just trust,” she said. “Trust your coach, trust the mark, trust the pole, and most importantly, trust yourself to do it.”
Over the next year and a half, Taylor’s goal is to leave the Ursuline team with the tools and encouragement they need to continue having pole vaulters.
“I want to help others into this sport,” she said. “Pole vaulting is an amazing and empowering sport that I think a lot of girls would benefit from participating in.”
Taylor is also a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Spanish Honors Society, and the Genesis STAR Club. She also participates on the Texas Express Club Pole Vault Team and worked with Major Impact Track Team last season.