Estes breaks own pole vaulting record


Junior Morgan Estes competes in the pole vault during a dual meet vs. Akron at the Kent State Fieldhouse. Estes holds the school record for indoor pole vault at 13’-05.25”. The Flashes fell to Akron 81-70 on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016.

Samantha Lough

Representing the Kent State women’s track team, junior pole vaulter Morgan Estes vaulted a record-breaking 14.12 meters  (13’6.25”) at the Spire Invitational this past Saturday.

Estes’ vault – which broke her own Kent State record — is best in the Mid-American Conference so far this season.

Prior to discovering pole vaulting, Estes was a gymnast since the age of four. Her favorite event was the bars. Because of her flexibility and fearlessness at tucking and jumping, she drew the attention from a track coach. Estes tried the pole vault event for the first time in the eighth grade and continued to participate in the sport throughout high school. 

In her junior year of high school, she joined an indoor track team and never looked back.

Estes won the state pole vault competition her senior year of high school, jumping 13’0.25 and setting the state of Ohio record, which she held for two years.

“Coming to Kent State I was not happy with the performances of my freshman year (of college),” Estes said. “I worked really hard after that season and ended up breaking the school record last year as a sophomore.”

“I had a lot of confidence coming into the Spire meet this year knowing I had performed well there last year,” Estes said. “I knew I broke the record and I did it on my first try, which is really good because that can mean the difference between first and second place at the MAC championships, the meet that really matters.”

“After the Akron meet, I had good practices and good jumps and everything just came together this weekend. I’m doing well because we have new, bigger poles, my techniques are better, and all of that has just come together at this point in the season,” she said.

At last year’s Spire invitational, Estes set the previous school record at (13’5.25”).

“It’s a lot of timing,” Estes said. “We’re getting toward the end of the indoor season. It’s enough time after winter break, so I’m back in the swing of things and because I did well last year, I had a lot of confidence going in. Plus, I love Spire, especially their runway that isn’t raised like Kent (State’s) is.”

Coach Bill Lawson couldn’t explain why Estes set both records at Spire, besides attributing it to nothing more than timing.

“We were surprised last year because she warmed up poorly. (But) she made some adjustments during the meet … to peek over the school record,” Lawson said. “She’s jumping better and by this time of year we’ve worked out the bugs, picked the right poles and it’s all coming together.”

Lawson mentioned that Morgan’s determination to be the best pole vaulter she can be is what keeps her working toward being better and better.

“Morgan has always had a lot of determination. She (is) on a quest to be the best pole vaulter.” Lawson said. “I know she is not satisfied, (just) as I am not. We are always trying to jump higher. Our goal is to jump over 14 feet to be the MAC champion and get to indoor and outdoor nationals.”

“It’s her sheer will and determination that makes her the best in school history.” Lawson said.

Samantha Lough is a sport reporter for the Kent Stater. For more information contact her at [email protected].