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Athlete of the Month-Gabrielle Bernhard 


We’re interviewing a student athlete you nominate every month! May’s Athlete of the Month is , a Kent Island High Schooler who runs track, hurdles and pole vaults. We talked to her to learn how she learned how to pole jump, her plans for the future and more!

You play a lot of different sports- how did you get into them?

I was a gymnast from the age of 5 to age 15, and I ran track all through middle school. Lots of the skills that I performed as a gymnast carried over to the pole vault and the hurdles. The flexibility and the strength that I gained while I was a gymnast greatly prepared me and has aided in my success as a pole vaulter and hurdler.

How did you learn pole vaulting? What’s the highest you’ve gotten?

I have been pole vaulting since freshman year. I remember trying to pole vault for the first time and falling in love with it. My personal record currently is 11’2”, but that will soon change because my goal for the end of this year is 12’.

How do you ensure you remain safe when you’re so high off the ground?

I always know when I am getting tired, so when I do, I will take a short break or just be done with pole vaulting for that day to ensure that I do not get injured.

How many hours a week do you practice?

Every weekday, after school lets out at 2:30, from 2:45 to 5:00, you can find me out on the track, either pole vaulting, hurdling or completing a sprint workout.

How do you get into the right headspace before a big race and event?

The biggest thing that I tell myself before a big race or big event is to just worry about myself. If I just focus on doing my best, then I know that all my hard work will have paid off, and I will get the result that I had hoped for.

How do you deal with a race event not going the way you hoped?

If I do not clear the height that I wanted or if I run a slower time in the hurdles, I will tell myself to not focus on the bad and that that one bad race does not define me. I will brush that bad run or vault off and focus on the next event or cheer on my teammates.

Any big records or wins you’d like to highlight?

I have the school record for the 55m Hurdles, 100m Hurdles, 300m Hurdles, and Indoor Pole Vault. This past Indoor Track State Championship, I was 3rd in the state for pole vault and hurdles. I also placed 2nd in the state for pole vault and 3rd in both the 100m hurdles and 300m hurdles last spring at the Outdoor Track State Championship.

What are your plans for the future?

I am attending the United States Naval Academy in the fall, where I hope to major in chemistry. I will be running Division 1 Track and Field and will continue pole vaulting and hurdling.

If you know an amazing student local you can nominate them to be our athlete of the month at: