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Meet Katie Nageotte: 2018 U.S. indoor champion in pole vault (Includes interview)

On being crowned U.S. Indoor champion, Nageotte said, “It just surreal. It was so cool and hard to put into words. Going in, I felt it definitely could happen, but once it came together that way, it was incredible. I’ve never had three personal bests in one competition before.”

Nageotte is drawn to pole vault due to its adrenaline rush. “Every time you do it, you are flying. It such a cool feeling. I love the instant excitement when you clear a bar. There is really nothing else like it,” she said. “A personal best is unlike anything else.”

For Nageotte, the pole vault community is really tight-knit. “It is a very challenging sport, but it is a good community, with a good vibe. The girls root for each other. What it really comes down to is that it is really you against the bar,” she explained.

Katie Nageotte

Katie Nageotte
Franck Massol

She shared that she is stoked to compete at The Prefontaine (Pre) Classic in Eugene, Oregon. “I will definitely be there. I am so excited. Usually, there is a men’s pole vault competition there for the past few years, but this year, there is a women’s pole vault competition. I love jumping there, and my coach, Brad Walker, broke the American record there in 2008,” she said. “The Pre Classic is pretty epic, aside from the big championship, it is one of the best meets in the United States without a doubt.”

Nageotte defined the word success as “Doing the best you possibly can when you are out there.”

Digital transformation of pole vault

On the impact of technology in pole vaulter, she said, “Obviously, it has helped in terms of equipment. The poles used to be steel and bamboo, and now they are fiberglass and carbon, and they are a lot safer than they used to be. Technology has definitely helped the sport grow exponentially. With bio-mechanical analysis, they look at so many things that you would never think of. It helps you build in the areas that you are lacking.”

Veteran pole vaulter Bubba Sparks remarked, “I have followed Katie for a very long time. I spoke to her the morning of nationals in Albuquerque, and I told her that I always introduced or spoke of her as the next American to vault 4.88 meters. Then, she jumped 4.91 meters, and won a few hours later. When we hugged after the meet, I said ‘I told you so,’ and she said ‘you were right.’ Look for much bigger things from her as she and coach Brad Walker continue their work.”

In return, Nageotte, reciprocated the kind feelings about Sparks. “Bubba is so great. He is just wonderful. He is super positive towards everyone, and he is a fan of the sport, which is really refreshing,” she said.

For her fans, she concluded by expressing the “biggest thank you.” “I owe so much to everyone who has supported me, especially my family and my mother, who has supported me financially. I owe just about everything to my mother. It is really humbling that people are interested in what I am doing. I am so appreciative,” she said.

To learn more about American pole vaulter Katie Nageotte, follow her on Twitter and on Instagram.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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