The only time Katrina May entered a pole vault competition as high as 11 feet this track and field season, she missed on all three of her attempts at that height.
But with the starting height at next weekend’s New Balance Nationals expected to be 11-3 or 11-6, May and her Columbus North pole vault coach, Dale Stelting, thought she ought to come in at 11-0 in Saturday’s Midwest Meet of Champions.
This time, May passed the test. She cleared 11-0 on her first try, then made 11-6 on her first attempt and finished fifth in the event at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.
“It was really great to get the confidence with that,” May said. “Overall, I’m not upset with my performance. I’m still dealing with back issues and shin issues, but we’re hoping to get those cleared up next week before nationals.
May, who cleared 12-6 to finish second in the state indoor meet in March, went 12-0 last week to take third in the state outdoor meet. Saturday, she went out at 12-0.
“My 12-0 attempts were pretty good,” May said. “At that point, I was dealing with my back. We tried to get on a new pole, but I found ways to knock down the bar.”
The meet featured top seniors from Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. Ohio’s Ally Thompson won the girls pole vault competition at 13-0.
Indiana state champion Sandra Brown of Pike finished in a three-way tie for second at 12-3.
“Today, there was a lot of wind, and it was very hot, which is something we haven’t really dealt with this year,” May said. “A lot of people in the competition had trouble with that, including me.”
Ohio won the girls meet with 187 points to 168 for Michigan and 120 for Indiana. Ohio also captured the boys meet with 194 points to 158 1/2 for Michigan and 120 1/2 for Ohio.
May, who will pole vault collegiately at Purdue, said she was happy with her experience.
“It was probably one of the most interesting experiences I’ve ever had,” May said. “Everybody had a great desire to do the best they could. Not only were they great athletes, they were fun to be around.”