Reid wins indoor conference pole vault, finishes 7th at indoor state, sets new school record

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Reid wins indoor conference pole vault, finishes 7th at indoor state, sets new school record


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Two years ago senior Annemarie Reid had never touched a pole vaulting stick in her life. But then again, why would she? A sophomore on both the varsity basketball and soccer squads, Reid was busy making her impact elsewhere in Niles North’s athletic community.

Then one day before a basketball practice Reid’s junior year, she came across then-juniors Ethan Velazquez  and Maaz Ahmed doing pole vaulting drills in the hallway.

“They showed me the technique and told me that I should try it,” Reid said. “Going into the spring season junior year I had decided that I wanted to try something new, and had already considered doing track, so I started to practice, and I absolutely loved it, even over any other sport I had been part of.”

Since then, Reid has literally and figuratively catapulted to the top of her sport. At the indoor conference meet this year, Reid not only won the pole vaulting competition outright with a height of 10’6, but she broke her own personal record and school record that she had previously set. This exceptional performance qualified her for the Illinois Prep Top Times, the indoor version of State, where she once again cleared 10’6 and finished seventh overall. This feat is especially impressive considering at last year’s indoor meet, Reid was only able to clear a meager 6’6.

“Having progressed so much with the time I’ve had is something I attribute to my teammates Ethan and Maaz who have been pole vaulting for all four years,” Reid explained. “They’ve just been so supportive since the beginning, and there’s no way I could be jumping as high as I am now without their coaching.”

Last year, Reid was named to the Central Suburban League North (CSL) all-conference team, and qualified for the outdoor State meet at the Loyola Sectional. Although her early season success this year does not guarantee a second trip downstate, automatic qualification at sectionals is 10’3, so Reid and her coach Andy Swedberg are quietly optimistic. The top 9 finishers at State receive the coveted “All-State” award.

“Getting All-State might be a stretch,” Reid said. “But it’s also a possibility if I continue to progress as I did during indoor season and clear about 6-12 inches higher.”

Reid’s current plans are to continue her pole vaulting career at Eastern Illinois University in the fall.

“Annemarie has accomplished a tremendous amount by being extremely dedicated, working hard and really enjoying the sport of track and field,” Swedberg said. “I think her experience sets a great example that you’ll never know how successful you’ll be at something unless you try it and work at it!”

Above photo by Gunnar Curry.

UPDATE: Over the past weekend, Reid set a new school pole vault record of 11 feet!