As if it wasn’t enough that Lake Washington High junior Brittany Blaskovich was a club gymnast for nine years. Then her mom placed a video on Facebook of her daughter bungee jumping near Oregon.
One of her mom’s friends saw the video and said, “‘Oh, you have a gymnast as a daughter and she’s not afraid of heights? You should get her into pole vaulting,” Blaskovich said last week with a laugh while waiting for the pole-vaulting competition to begin.
At the end of her freshman year, Blaskovich began training with renowned coach Tim Reilly in Seattle and found a new favorite sport.
“I just loved it. It just clicked with me. It’s an amazing sport,” said the vaulter, who competed at state last season.
Blaskovich set a school girls record of 10 feet last year, went 10-3 a few weeks ago — and then notched a 10-6 on April 13 at Juanita High.
Juanita junior Katrina Teo had some vault magic in store at the meet as well, besting her former PR by a whopping nine inches to 10-9 and winning the event. The two friends rooted each other on the whole time and embraced following the event.
“I think having (Brittany) with me really helped because it made me realize that I could do that. I can reach that if she can,” said Teo, who has been vaulting for three years and trained with Reilly in January and February. “I like flying, feeling the weightlessness, (and then) falling.”
Added Blaskovich: “It’s just so much fun, and seeing the results of it are the best. Every time you jump higher, even if you don’t PR but you get closer each time, it feels so good when your hard work pays off.”
Keys to Blaskovich’s success was adding weight training to her repertoire last summer and working with a sprint coach.
She’s also learned to be patient in the pole-vaulting realm. It’s a virtue that’s necessary to keep climbing higher in the sport.
“You’ll work super hard and you think that you need to be jumping a certain height, but it’s really the little changes you make,” she said. “Just like in school, sometimes you feel like you’re working really hard and you don’t get the grade, but you just have to give it time and work hard.”
For Teo, her preparation method is flipping around and stretching while waiting for her turn on the vault.
“I just keep moving, because otherwise I’ll just think about everything that’s gonna go wrong,” she said.
A lot went right during last week’s event and she can’t wait to see what’s in store in the coming weeks.