Elise Hall, a junior at Leesville Road High School, is known around the “pole vaulting world” as a very successful young girl who created her fame with hardwork and dedication. Hall qualified for New Balance Nationals during the indoor season of her sophomore year, held in New York. She was also able to qualify for the outdoor New Balance Nationals during her outdoor track season of her sophomore year, held a lot closer in Greensboro.
Just a few years ago, when Elise was in middle school, known for cheerleading, basketball, track, and dancing. Elise could have never pictured a future for herself as bright as the one she has now, especially in pole vaulting.“She has always been someone who wanted to do everything,” said Anne Hall, Elise’s mom.
Pole vaulting was unheard of in the Hall house until her dad did research on the sport and was able to find a facility near their house where she could learn. “When she began pole vaulting, I really had no idea what to expect, or if she was even going to like it,” said Mrs. Hall.
Starting a new sport at such an older age can be risky. Most competitive athletes, including pole vaulters, have been training for their sport of choice for years. “I went one day at the beginning of freshman year, unsure of what to expect, and ended up absolutely falling in love with the sport,” said Hall, reflecting on her beginner days into the new sport.
Elise has been a part of the Varsity Cheerleading team at Leesville since she was a freshman, which she credits a big part of her pole vaulting success to. “I am doing a sport year round which means training year round, so my body is always in shape, and pushing itself to its limit,” said Hall.
Success wasn’t expected early from Elise, who had only just begun the sport. At her first practice, however, she found herself overwhelmed with the feedback from who she was training with. This positive reaction inspired Elise to train harder and longer to perfect her technique while vaulting.
“You don’t need as much technique to clear eight, nine, or ten feet, but as soon as you get up to twelve feet, that requires more technique and more focus on the little details, and your success and [personal records]’s come more in inches rather than feet” said Hall.
During the season, Hall trains close to eight hours a week, with a meet every Friday. That’s a ton of driving to and from training facilities and competition locations. Hall credits a huge portion of her success to her parents for support,and her second family at Pole Vault Carolina.
“It’s great we are teammates because because we push each other and we are each other’s competition, without ruining the friendship we share,” said McKenna Brunick, teammate.
Her coach at Pole Vault Carolina, Jose San Miguel, has had a major impact on her life in many ways. “He shaped me so much as a person, and I don’t know how else to express my gratitude for him, but he helps me continue to grow and achieve my goals,” said Hall, describing Miguel.
A personal goal for Hall is to become an All-American at Nationals and participate in the higher elite level for New Balance Nationals her senior year.
“Elise is a great competitor who has caught the attention of several D1 college coaches. Her excellent work ethic, coupled with her support from her family, promise a long career in the vault if that is what she chooses,” said Jose San Miguel, coach from Pole Vault Carolina.
Hall is an amazing athlete bound for great things in the near future. She has managed to find the balance between being a family member, a friend, a student, and an athlete. She is a great example for aspiring young athletes.