Sky’s the limit for OF vaulter
By Dave Rogers
For The Record
To say that Brooklyn Goldsmith has lofty goals is putting it mildly.
But what else would you expect from a pole vaulter?
Goldsmith, a senior at Orangefield High, set a school girls pole vault record of 10 feet, 9 inches a year ago when she finished eighth at the state meet.
She is looking to jump up in results in 2017.
“My goal this season is for 12-9,” she said.
And that’s not all.
“She told me last year that she went to state, and she got to witness that and do what she could,” recalled Joe Peevey, Orangefield’s pole vault coach, in a recent interview.
“This year, she wants to medal.”
But first things first, after all.
“We’ve got to start the season first,” she said.
“That’s very wise,” Peevey said. “You can’t get too ahead of yourself.”
Goldsmith began her vault training in December, working out at the West Orange-Stark track while the Orangefield track undergoes a renovation.
Her first competition will be Jan. 14 at the McNeese Invitational Indoor track meet. She will compete there with the Beaumont Track Club since her Orangefield track teammates will wait for their 2017 debut.
It will be her first indoor meet.
Goldsmith actually began training for her senior year not long after she saw Taylor ninth-grader Anna Cathryn Griffith win the state Class 4A title by going up to 12 feet without a miss.
Soon after returning from the state meet in Austin, Goldsmith began working out at H&H Gymnastics in Vidor.
“I had never done gymnastics and I think it helps,” she said. “We’re seeing a lot of improvement as far as technique and strength.
“I’m working on air awareness, just being confident upside down. It’s different drills to just get vertical.”
To reinforce the gym training, Goldsmith has been working out regularly in Jacksonville, Texas, at the Altius International pole vault camp run by Carl Erickson, a former vault coach for Baylor and the University of Texas.
“Strength, speed, awareness in the air – all of that goes hand in hand to be able to vault,” Peevey, Goldsmith’s “position” coach, said.
“Being able to pull your hips above your top hand, it takes years and years to achieve it. Most people are unable to attain it.”
Goldsmith has been vaulting since the seventh grade. That’s when she impressed a coach during a routine fitness test.
“Coach said it’d be good for me,” she recalls.
And the vertical quest began.
“Upside down is the most difficult thing,” Goldsmith said. “I’m still trying to get there.”
Peevey can’t believe his good fortune.
“It really makes my job easier when you have a student that loves to work. She comes to school every day to work.
“She’s ready to go the extra mile to do what she needs to be able to compete at the highest level.”
Last year, Goldsmith broke the old Orangefield school record of 10-6 set by former teammate Jennifer McManus.
“I can’t believe how girls’ stats are getting better, just in the four years I’ve been competing in high school,” she said. “When I started, you could make it to regionals by just clearing 9 feet.”
And now her aiming part is more than half a body length higher.
“I love competing,” Goldsmith said.