Interview: Wade Hampton pole vaulter Breana Kwasnik

Full name: Breana Lynn Kwasnik
Date of birth: Feb. 16, 1993
Hobbies: Sports, art and dancing
Academic interest: Animal science
Event PR: Pole vault: 10-0

scrunners: How did you become involved in your sport?
kwasnik: I got into sports when I was very little. I am a very competitive person; being the only girl in the family and having 3 brothers, I had a lot of competition and I also found sports to be a great way to get stress out and deal with problems.

scrunners: When did you become involved in the sport?
kwasnik: When I was in the seventh grade I was on the Blue Ridge track and field team. I didn't do much besides running, but one day I went over to the pole vaulting pit because some of my friends were over there and it looked cool so I wanted to go watch. When I got over there all of my friends wanted me to try it and I'm for trying new things so they showed me the basics of it and I just took of from there. I cleared seven feet my fourth day holding a pole vaulting pole.

scrunners: What obstacles have you faced?
kwasnik: One of the obstacles I had to face was not having a pole vaulting coach. I learned from the students that were in my event.

scrunners: What have been the high points of your career?
kwasnik: One of the meets that I went to coach (Marty) Daigle was there and he saw the potential I had and invited the entire Blue Ridge team to come train with his kids at Wade Hampton. I would not be where I am today with my vaulting without his help and kindness.

scrunners: What was your first meet like?
kwasnik: My first meet for Wade Hampton was exciting and I was really nervous. All of the kids on the team were very encouraging. My team is a big inspiration. They are there for me every meet, when they are done vaulting they stay and cheer me on with pole vaulting, high jump and hurdles. We have a couple more vaulters then we did last year, and we have many team goals.

scrunners: Do you have parents, siblings or other relatives/friends that are involved in sports? How have they affected your career?
kwasnik: My family is a big inspiration for me. My mom is there for me every meet and is always pushing me forward. My three-year-old niece is what moves me to be great. She always is there saying, "go go go," and I always try to do my best for her. She lights my days up and she brings a smile to my face and I always do well when she's there to cheer me on. All of my brothers and my father try to get me moving. They help me whenever they can with my training. My little brother and I work out together to help each other with our sports; he does wrestling.

scrunners: Is there someone other than a family member or friend who has inspired you?
kwasnik: There is one person that inspires me to be great that has nothing to do with my family. Sandi Morris is a great person and a great friend. We practice with Rusty Shealy together and work with each other and have a great time. At meets she encourages me to get it and be my best. She is a great vaulter and she is also a great winner, never snobby or stuck up when she wins as we have seen with other athletes in the past. She inspires me to be great in all aspects of vaulting.

scrunners: What goals do you have as an individual for this season?
kwasnik: I personally want to go to state and get eleven feet this season.  

scrunners: What goals does your team have this season?
kwasnik: We all want as many of us to go to the state meet at the end of the season. All of us work very hard together and help each other with our form.

scrunners: How is training?
kwasnik: I train with coach Shealy and coach Daigle once a week each. One on Sunday and one on Tuesday. Both of them push me to my limits and they are always encouraging me to push farther.

scrunners: How do you balance school and athletics?
kwasnik: School is tough, but I always find a way to get all my school work and training done. I have a big support group also; I am a part of the Bridges to a Brighter Future program at Furman University. With their help, I can get my work done easier. They support me with everything I do.

scrunners: What keeps you motivated to do your best in class and on the course/track?
kwasnik: The thing that keeps me going is the support from all of my family and friends, teachers and mentors. The people around me make a big difference in my life. My teachers can see when I can do better work and they come up to me and tell me so, and that helps me do better work. My family and friends have seen what I can do with the many sports I do (cross country and track and field) and know how to get me moving and doing better when they know I can do better. I love pole vaulting so very much. I'm very happy that I have the support that I do because not everyone has support in the things they love.