Interview: Abbeville pole vaulter overcomes obstacle

Abbeville senior pole vaulter Abigail Osborne talks about the upcoming Class AA Upper State meet and adapting to a new pole.

Name: Abigail Elise Osborne
Date of birth: Jan. 14, 1991
Brothers/sisters: One older brother, three younger brothers and one younger sister
Academic interest: I plan to go to Lander University and major in Nursing
Hobbies: working out, cheerleading, cosmetology, fishing and working at Abbeville Health & Fitness.
Personal bests: 5’0” in high jump and 8’0” in pole vault.

scrunners: When and why did you start track?
osborne: I started this year because my Dad really wanted me to compete.

scrunners: What made you decide to try Pole Vault?
osborne: My coaches encouraged me to do it because AHS has never had a girl vaulter and they said I had the strength to do it.

scrunners: Do you compete in other sports?
osborne: I am the captain of the varsity football cheerleading squad and I have cheered every year in high school.

scrunners: Do you have family members that competed in track and field?
osborne: Yes, my younger brother.

scrunners: What does it mean to you to reach the Upper State qualifying meet?
osborne: It shows that all the hard work has paid off!

scrunners: Talking with your coach, he mentioned your pole and in need of another. How do you vault with the lightest pole the school has?
osborne: The lightest pole we had was 160-pounds, so it never bent. I just did the best I could with what we had.

scrunners: Have you found a pole for Saturday?
osborne: Yes, my coach has borrowed a 135-pound pole (thanks BHP!). I have not jumped with it yet but if the pole bends the whole technique will have to be different.
scrunners: What would you like to achieve this coming weekend?
osborne: I would love to qualify for the state meet!

scrunners: What kind of goals did you have at the start of this season?
osborne: I had no idea that I would compete in field events, I just wanted to do my best at whatever I was asked to do!

scrunners: What kind of training have you done all season?
osborne: I have done a lot of jumping drills and weight training.

scrunners: Has your training changed any this week?
osborne: Yes, we realized I was jumping off the wrong foot in the pole vault. To correct myself I tried switching from the right foot to the left. I also jump off my right foot in the high jump so switching to the left foot did not work for me. Instead I started jumping left handed to fix the problem.
scrunners: Have you ever been injured? Please explain.
osborne: I pulled a tendon in my knee at the beginning of the season when I tried long jumping. It put me out for a week-and-a-half and it was painful and discouraging. I started to high jump and pole vault when I came back on March 16. 
scrunners: How do you stay motivated during this time?
osborne: I am very competitive, I always have been! When I practice hard and see improvement I get excited and it makes me work even harder to improve more!

scrunners: Do you have any pre-meet traditions?
osborne: I am not superstitious but I like for my clothing to look and feel the same every time, whether its practice or a meet.
scrunners: Do you see yourself competing in the sport in the future? 
osborne: I would love to compete at a college level. I have fallen in love with pole vault, but I am also determined to become a nurse.  If I had the opportunity to compete in college and pursue my career in nursing then I would do it in an instant.

scrunners: What do you look for in a coach and what do you expect a coach to look for you? 
osborne: I have a great coach that is just as passionate about pole vault as I am.  He pushes me to be better and though we are limited in equipment and resources, he searches for any possible way for me to succeed.  It is important to have all the help I can get and he is always willing to lend a hand.
scrunners: How do you see yourself being remembered at Abbeville? 
osborne: I have already set the record in pole vault without realizing it at my high school.  I love Abbeville High School and I try to show a lot of school spirit.  I hope people will remember that most about me.
scrunners: What do you recommend to young athletes to achieve their best in the sport?
osborne: When you commit to a team, give it your best at all times.
scrunners: If there is one thing in the world you could do, what would it be and why? 
osborne: I would like to use my nursing skills to help others in need, not just in the United States but all over the world."

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