Catching Up with Wando's Dillon McCarthy

Name:  Dillon McCarthy
Personal bests:  A new PR 15'6"
Academic interests: History
Hobbies: Playing football, hanging out with friends, and listening to music
Favorite quote: "I don't know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future"

How did you get involved in the sport?
When I was in the seventh grade, I would catch the bus after school to the high school where my dad coached the shot. I would hang out at the track until he was done and he told me I should talk to the pole vault coach because he seemed like such a nice guy.  I met Coach (Tom) Reagan and tried vaulting and kind of just took to it.

How would you rate your win at Coaches Classic in pole vault and top state ranking (
bested by McCarthy at Bojangles Track & Field Classic)?
At the
Coaches Classic, I cleared 14'6 and came in first, but I did not jump my best so I was a little disappointed.  Especially since I PR'd at that meet the year before.  I didn't even know that I was ranked first in the State until this weekend.  Being first is great, but it doesn't mean as much to me as hitting my personal goals and team goals. 

From your success in 2017, what do you hope to do this season coming up?

My first goal this year was to break the school record.  I was able to do that a couple meets ago.  I would like to help my team win the State championship and PR at 16'3 so I can be a foot higher than my PR last year.

Do you have a specific motivation?
My parents motivate me and I want to do well for my coach.  He has taught me everything and I want to show him everything he has done for me has paid off.  I would also like to vault at the college level.

What has been your biggest challenge in the sport?
The injuries that I have gotten.  I tore a muscle in my calf in 2015 during my first summer track season.  I had a hamstring injury the first meet of this season which was frustrating.  

What do you hope to achieve in the future? 
I just want to keep improving each year and become good enough to compete in college.

What do you hope to achieve the rest of the season and at big invitationals?  
I would like to win state and help our team to win state and I would like to come in first at Nationals in my age group.

Walk us through a competition for you (from start to end).
Show up an hour before warm ups, listen to my music, and eat a small snack.  I finish watching the girls jump and cheer them on.  When they finish I go into the field and do a 10 minute warm up.  Then I go to the pit and run back to get my step.  I do about five warm up jumps (if they're good) and then sit down with my teammates and wait.  Once everyone starts, it's usually a while before I have to stretch and warm up again.  I get a run through jump without the bar to make sure my step is on, and then I start jumping.

What goes through your mind?
I try to stay relaxed.  I still get kind of nervous.

Do you play other sports?

How does track help you with other sports and vice
Track helps me by making me faster and football and lifting weights helps me get stronger to be able to bend the pole in vaulting.

Do you prefer one over the other? 
I don't prefer one over the other. They are both so different.

How and when did you start training for track and field this season?
In December the whole team started lifting and running to start getting in shape.  I started jumping in late January.

What do you enjoy the most about the
 Wando team?
I love the meets and competing.  The coaches are all great.  The head coach and my vaulting coach are very involved and help me every day.  My head coach was my teacher and football coach too, so we have become pretty close.

What team goals does 
Wando have? 
Our biggest goal is to qualify for state and win the state championship.

What do you feel you have
 learned from your coaches, teammates and the sport?
When I first started track, I was only in seventh grade.  There were some older guys who vaulted who really accepted me, cheered me on, and were just really good teammates to me.  The guys I vault with now are all really good guys and we are good friends.  We are really supportive of each other.  My vaulting coach, Coach Reagan, has been a great coach.  He has these pit talks where we talk about life stuff and he has team dinners and dinners at his house so that we have all gotten really close.  He has taken us to church events and he has taught us some really good life lessons. I have
 learned that there is so much that goes into learning the right technique in this sport. 

What would like to see happen in the future in the sport?
More colleges should have field events and especially pole vaulting.  I would like to see the heights just continue to get higher.

If there is one thing in the world you could do, what would it be and why?
I would have one of every dog breed in the world!