Semper Fi / Hagan hopes for big track performances before leaving for Marine Corps

After graduating from Columbus East High School, Katie Hagan plans to join the Marine Corps.

But the senior has a couple of things she’d like to accomplish before she leaves next month for either San Diego or Parris Island in South Carolina.

Hagan would like to break the school record in the pole vault and advance to regional and possibly beyond in one or more of her events. Tonight, she’ll lead the Olympian girls track and field team into the Hoosier Hills Conference meet at Floyd Central.

“She’s a fierce competitor, and she’ll be ready to go,” East coach Glen Brown said. “This whole group has done nothing but just keep working hard and doing their best. She’s one of the leaders of the team, and our team will be ready.”

Hagan ran cross-country as freshman and sophomore. She was a distance runner in track as a freshman before picking up pole vault and hurdles as a sophomore. After last season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she’s back doing the pole vault and hurdles this year.

As a sophomore, Hagan had a personal-best of 8 feet in the pole vault. She had gone 8-6 this year before clearing 9-0 in the rain last week at Brown County.

“Just working on it in practice, I changed my hand grip on the pole,” Hagan said. “I moved farther back, and it helped me get a little bit higher up. It was a really good feeling. It was nice to see the results of all the work I’ve put into it in practice.”

Hagan had set a personal-best in both the 300 hurdles (51.7) in a win the previous week at Madison. She has run 17.41 in the 100 hurdles.

Tonight in the HCC or next week at the Franklin Sectional, Hagan is hoping to break 17 in the 100 hurdles and 50 in the 300 hurdles.

“She could get to regional in the 300s because she’s right there in the low 50’s, getting ready to break through to the 49s, and that should be able to get her through to regional, we hope,” Brown said. “(In the pole vault), 9-6 probably would get her through to the regional if she could do that in the sectional.”

Hagan also is shooting for Emily Clancy’s school record of 10-6 in the pole vault.

“We’ve been able to make some decent progress now that the weather is starting to get nice,” Hagan said. “We’ve been vaulting pretty much every day, and if it’s bad weather, we’ll go into the weight room and do drills and lift some weights. I think it’s gone pretty well. I can definitely see a progression from freshman year to my senior year and improvements that I’ve made.”

Brown is confident that Hagan can approach that pole vault record in the right weather conditions.

“She’s a senior, and she’s one of the leaders,” Brown said. “She leads by example and shows them how hard work is going to pay off. That’s why she was able to get 9-0. She’ll probably go 9-6 at conference, if not more, especially if it’s not raining.”

Hagan is hoping her training from track and field — the strength from the pole vault and agility from the hurdles — will help her when she enters the Marine Corps.

“I always wanted to go into the military,” Hagan said. “I’ve just always been interested in it — that and law enforcement. I’m in criminal justice, too, and I just looked through all the different careers that interest me, and it struck me the most.”