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article imageMeet Matt Ludwig: 2020 American indoor pole vault champion Special

By Markos Papadatos     Feb 17, 2020 in Sports
2020 American indoor pole vault champion Matt Ludwig chatted with Digital Journal about his love for the sport and his future plans.
Ludwig cleared 5.85 meters at the 2020 Toyota USA Track & Field Indoor Championships, which earned him a gold medal and a national champion title. "It was a great experience. Honestly, everything felt calm and controlled. I had to make some adjustments when we got to 19 feet," he said.
"5.85 meters was a great bonus as a new personal best. It was exciting to see that I was in good form this early in the season. There is a lot more to accomplish," he added.
Each day, he is energized simply by self-motivation. "I want to excel in the sport and I want to see how far I can take it and how good I can be. Ultimately, I want to be the best. It is exciting to see my progression over the years and see how comfortable I am getting and continuing to jump high and improving on the things that I need to. Everything else that comes with it is a great bonus," he said.
"Getting to travel is another motivating factor. Having the opportunity to do that through pole vault is exciting," he said. "I had two international trips so far: one to China and one to Europe."
Ludwig opened up about the camaraderie in the sport of pole vault. "We are so supportive of each other. Honestly, I've never met such a great group of friendly, competitive and respectful athletes," he said. "We all share the struggle of trying to improve and accomplishing something new."
American pole vaulter Matt Ludwig
American pole vaulter Matt Ludwig
Akron Track and Field and Cross Country
He feels that technology has completely changed the sport over the years. "You look back before fiberglass poles, and you are on bamboo, steel or aluminum. We have gone through a technical revolution with material changes. The technique has to change and suddenly we are progressing in a biomechanical way. My degree is in biomedical engineering so I love breaking down the sport and looking at the physics of it," he said.
For young and aspiring pole vaulters, he said, "Seek out the best and more verified knowledge on the sport that you can find. I've had great coaches along the way. Get consistent and have patience. Also, aspiring pole vaulters can reach out to us for help or when they need assistance. We love to help out when we can."
This summer, Ludwig is looking forward to competing at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials at the newly-renovated Hayward Field. "It is going to be a crazy competition for the pole vault. We already have nine or 10 Americans that are already over 19 feet," he said.
Ludwig defined the word success as "validation that I am on the right track." "We all work hard but sometimes you lose perspective. Sometimes, you are able to achieve something great for the first time like for me this weekend at the USA Track & Field Indoor Championships. I want to continue to do the right things to help my career grow and help my athletic abilities get better," he said.
To learn more about American pole vaulter Matt Ludwig, follow him on Instagram.
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