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Gymnastics background helps pole vaulter
Brosius has had meteoric rise for Saline track team
Sunday, May 07, 2006
BY ROB HOFFMAN
News Sports Reporter
It didn't take too long for Michelle Brosius to make her mark in the world of Saline scholastic track.
Five years ago, as a seventh-grader, the one-time youth gymnast tried the pole vault for the first time.
Her initial competition was a disaster. The bar came crashing down on every one of her attempts.
But her second try? It was anything but disastrous.
She broke the middle-school record by vaulting 8 feet.
"(The first time), I didn't know what I was doing,'' she said. "All of a sudden, it clicked into place.''
It has stayed there, as any fan of Hornet athletics can tell you.
Brosius' ascent to becoming one of the area's premier vaulters has been nothing short of meteoric.
As a high school freshman, she cleared 9 feet, 3 inches. As a sophomore, she cleared 10-3 to earn sixth place at the Division 1 state meet. And as a junior last spring, she cleared 10-6 to set a still-standing personal best at a meet in Ypsilanti.
"I like pole vaulting for the same reason I like gymnastics,'' said Brosius, who plans to
attend Michigan State next year, where she might try out for the track team. "When you do a vault really well, you can feel all the physics work out. It's really cool.''
Indeed, for Brosius, pole vaulting and gymnastics - which she started doing when she was 6 - go together well. It was her gymnastics background, after all, that caused her to gravitate to the event when she decided to take a hiatus from the sport in middle school.
"I just figured that in gymnastics, you have to have a lot of body movement - and pole vault is kind of the same thing,'' she said, although she later discovered that the parallels had to do more with the need for perfect form. "You have to get everything right. Otherwise, it's not going to go as well.''
So far, although she has won nearly every dual meet, Brosius' senior track season has started slowly. But she realizes that it has to do with her unconventional decision to skip indoor track season in favor of returning to gymnastics for one final time. As a member of the Saline High School's gymnastics team, she qualified for regionals.
"I just thought it would be fun after four years of doing no gymnastics,'' Brosius said. "I thought it might help me get in better shape. In some ways, it did. But it wasn't the same way as lifting weights, like I have done in the past.''
Nonetheless, Brosius remains fully committed to her goals: Clearing 11 feet and finishing top five at the state meet.
"I really want to advance them,'' she said. "It's my last year as a high school pole vaulter.''
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