Incline vaulter Manship resets school record, eyeing state mark

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Back when Incline Village pole vaulter Emily Manship was a freshman, she would look at the bar 10 feet up, the school record, and it didn’t seem possible.

She was just scratching the surface in her first year and her top vault was 7 feet, 9 inches.

Now, Incline’s senior track and field captain has blown past all her previous bests, she has set the school record three times over, has her eyes set on the 2A state record and is pushing to earn a preferred walk on spot with one of the best NCAA Division I programs in the country.

Manship last week at the Sacramento Meet of Champions, a prestigious event that featured more than 100 schools, vaulted way, way past the school record she set earlier this year.

Using a new, longer, pole for the first time, Manship reached 11-04 which beat the former record (10-06) she set on April 15 by nearly a foot.

The height was also more than a foot better than the Nevada record of 10-03.5. But to break a track and field state record it has to be accomplished at the state meet.

She’s going to need another pole because in her final attempt to top 11-04, she blew through that one.

“On my last jump at 11-08 I actually blew through that pole which means it bent too easily, so I need a stiffer pole to bring me up faster,” Manship said. “But I’m really grateful it all came together in Sacramento. We had great weather, good conditions, both my coaches were there, I had great equipment and great competition. I’ve been hovering at the same height for the past couple of months and I knew I had the ability to go higher but there was always some component that wasn’t clicking. But on Saturday, it came together. I felt really confident with my marks.”

Manship said to be a good vaulter you can’t “psych yourself out” because there’s a lot that can go wrong, so being mentally strong is key.

Manship said she’s had a close call during practice once when she planted her pole wrong.

“I’ve never broken a pole but at a club practice I planted wrong and got a nice bruise, but nothing too bad,” she said. “I had to get right back into it so I wouldn’t develop a fear. Hesitating is almost the worst thing you can do. And being not confident is even more dangerous.”

Manship is gearing towards putting her best vault forward at the state meet later in May, and in the larger picture, she’s trying to reach a height of 12-10 at some point which would put her in a position to walk on at UCLA. She’s already planning on attending the southern California university and competing at a top school would be a bonus.

“I’m mentally preparing to be right on that day (state meet),” Manship said. “And then I’m hoping to get a walk on offer at UCLA.”

Manship said nothing would have been possible without her coaches including Sarah Hockensmith who helps with outdoor practice, Randy Bryant who coaches her club team and at Bishop Manogue and helps with indoor practice, and her Incline coaches and teammates who offer endless support.

“Sarah has been super generous with her time,” Manship said. “I’ve been vaulting with Coach Bryant since I was a sophomore and he has definitely been one of the main reasons I’ve gone this far. And my coaches at Incline have done everything, so much out of their way, to help with equipment. I’m really excited and ready to get back to work.”

Incline senior Emily Manship breaking the school record in pole vault for the first time earlier this year.

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