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Hoping to clear new heights
Aces sophomore Tatman eyes return to state meet
By SEAN GOLDEN
AMANDA - Kori Tatman is not like a lot of other athletes. She can't be.
The Amanda-Clearcreek sophomore's penchant for pole vaulting requires the suspension of some common fears, among them heights and falling.
"I didn't really know a lot when I started," Tatman said. "It took me my first season to really get it and understand the technique and form."
Judging by the results that Tatman achieved in her freshman campaign, she is rather adept at learning on the go.
Tatman was the Aces' lone state qualifier in 2007, finishing eighth in the pole vault by clearing 11 feet. That mark was a personal best.
Amanda-Clearcreek track and field coach Nate Cotton said Tatman had a number of things working in her favor that allowed her to progress quickly in the event.
"It's all her gymnastics background, that's really allowed her to have a lot of control over her body," Cotton said. "It's an event that takes a tremendous amount of discipline, and you have to control your body and correct your mistakes."
Cotton said that Tatman has shown the ability to make those corrections, which can be the difference between flying high and falling short.
"Sometimes they'll need to adjust their steps," Cotton said. "Or we'll need to back her up six inches because she's missing the pole.
"There's little things they need to fix, and she does a great job of making those adjustments."
Hurling oneself to heights of more than one story is not a task that just any athlete is willing to attempt.
"That's one of those events that takes a different kind of mentality," Cotton said. "Not everyone can go upside down 13 feet in the air."
In three meets this season, Tatman has finished first in the event, including clearing a season-best 10 feet at the Amanda-Clearcreek 15-team Booster Track Invitational on Tuesday.
The sophomore said she would like to return to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium for another chance at state meet competition in June.
"It's a great a experience and it was fun to be a part of it (in 2007)," Tatman said. "I just want to make it back to state and hopefully do better than last year."
Tatman has begun this season by shouldering a full four-event load. She ran the 400-meter and 800 relays along with the 100 hurdles in the Aces' home meet on Tuesday.
"She's a natural athlete. She works hard and will do anything I ask of her," Cotton said. "She's capable of crossing a few different event boundaries."
Cotton said that Tatman is quickly regaining the form that got her to the state meet in pole vaulting a year ago.
"She's progressing very nicely," Cotton said. "With age will come experience, and her strength will improve," Cotton said.
Tatman already has shown an uncommonly collected and competitive demeanor, Cotton said.
"I like the fact that she's a sophomore and she doesn't really worry when she gets to a meet," Cotton said. "If she continues with the attitude she has now, she can go as far as she wants to."
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