Local track and field athletes are making big waves on the national circuit, impressing and garnering more respect for the Lakeland Yellowjackets program.
At the Tri-Province competition in Sherwood Park with teams representing Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Jordyn Skarsen earned gold in the Pole Vault, Kennedy Carter earned two bronze medals in High Jump and Triple Jump in the U18 categories, and in U16 Girls Kailey McInnes finished 6th in Shot Put and 8th in Discus.
Not to mention the work that Isla Rose Henson did at the Sherwood Park Track Classic. In the Open Women category, she earned silver in Triple Jump and 4th in Long Jump.
Skarsen in particular has made a splash. She ranks in the Top 6 in 2005 and 2006 born pole vaulters, and 3rd nationally in 2006 born pole vaulters. What is even wilder is that Skarsen began pole vaulting for the first time in April.
“It’s pretty hard to believe, like hearing it, there’s no way. But it’s cool,” Skarsen told Lakeland Connect.
“I did gymnastics like my whole childhood. And I was really good at the 100 metres, so we were thinking about what other events I would be really good at and Pole Vault came up and so we gave it a try in April and then it just kind of stuck.”
It’s been a straight upward trajectory for her. After ASAA Provincial gold, a silver at the Foote Field Open, and a bronze at club Provincials, she continues to set new personal bests, sticking her biggest jump to date at the Tri-Provs event of 3.03m.
“The pole vault meets, it’s a super close community. Everybody knows each other. It’s the same girls that all the meet. So I’ve become friends with quite a bit of them. And it’s just pretty fun overall,” said Skarsen.
“Larry’s [Godziuk] an amazing coach. I’m so grateful for all that he’s done to get me through to where I am and learn more about the sport. He did a little bit of it when he was in university, but not like enough to coach it. So just having him teach me about it. It’s awesome. And then all my teammates. They’re some of my really good friends. It’s just pretty fun. Overall, it’s great.”
Skarsen’s competition season has ended, but she’ll continue to train, and those driving by Walsh Field will likely see her out trying to vault higher and higher.