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Friday, August 19, 2022

Sports

Q&A: Pole vaulter sets high goals for season


Houston began her career with the third best vault in school history. She now has even greater hopes for year two. | Ajani Stewart/The Cougar

 

 

Sophomore Haley Houston is the only holdover for the women pole vaulters from last season.

The Austin native is now the head of a pole vaulting duo that includes herself and freshman Swedish international student Klara Mattsson. The two are looking to turn pole vaulting from a near nonfactor to a valuable source of points this season.

The Cougar recently caught up with Houston to talk about her second season at UH.

The Cougar: These last few meets have not quite been the results you want, but they seem to be competitive overall. Would you say the same?

Haley Houston: I think it was competitive overall. The first meet of the season was better because that’s when I cleared 3.96m. But I think as the semester goes on, I’ll get a lot better.

TC: What was your reaction when you learned you’d be getting a new teammate in Klara Mattsson?

HH: I was really excited because if she hadn’t have come, I would’ve been the only girl pole vaulter, and that’s just not fun.

TC: Does her presence help you improve your game both in practice and at the meets?

HH: It’s definitely a lot more fun whenever you have someone that jumps a relatively close height as you, because you can look at what you guys do differently and judge off of that.

TC: What was your recruitment process like?

HH: I kind of decided I was coming here before I even visited (the campus). It was between here and San Diego. Finally I took my official visit and I came to look at the school and campus, and I really wanted to be here. It was the only school I applied to.

TC: Do you feel you’re more acclimated to the collegiate competition now that you have a year of experience?

HH: I’m definitely a lot calmer than I was when I started. When I started pole vaulting in high school I got really nervous and really anxious. But now that I’ve grown up and gone to college and have been to all these huge meets, I’ve been able to calm down and perform the way I want to.

TC: Do you have any goals for yourself in your second year?

HH: This season I definitely want to clear 4.05m at least. That’s about 13 feet.

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