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Katie Nageotte gets technical – runblogrun

Katie Nageotte gets technical - runblogrun

Katie Nageotte gets technical.

In my earlier articles, Katie shared that despite adding the World title to her Olympic title, 2022 was quite a challenging year. In the final article from our interview, we talk technical because how can you write about pole vault without getting into run-ups, poles, etc.?

So let’s get back to the World Championships in Oregon.  The build-up had been challenging, so I wondered how far through her range of poles she got in Oregon: “I got to, I think it was, the pole with which I cleared 4.95 on full approach at the trials in 2021.  I was on a big pole, especially on the shorter run-up.  It was just a little too stiff, but at least I did get to it.  I was just one pole down from my best on the full approach.  That means that I need some bigger poles!  It was either the second or third biggest pole in the bag.  Everything about that meet was a really big confidence boost – from the poles that I was on to the height that I jumped and the approach”.

Katie Nageotte, Olympic champion, Tokyo 2021, photo by Stuart Weir

Then there is the question of run-up – full or short.  “My run-up is normally 16 steps, but I was just on 12 steps in Oregon.  It doesn’t seem a lot of difference, but it generates a ton more speed.  I was definitely at a disadvantage, and we tried a couple of sessions at full approach, and I think Brad really wanted me to try from full, and when I find that jump, I can definitely go higher from there.  But I was at the point where I felt I’m way more comfortable on 12 steps.  I don’t have to think about it now; I’m not worried about anything more than normal.  We decided in the prelim I would go from 12 – part of that was protecting my Achilles because going back-to-back is tough if you have an injury.  Fortunately, I only needed one jump during the prelim, but it hurt badly.  I was nervous during the warm-up because I had taken painkillers all week and was working with the medical staff, and felt confident it would hold up.  And then, in the warm-up, it was really painful.  I was standing waiting, stressed, and they played the national anthem, and I started tearing up.  I just thought, ‘you have to get this together’, no matter how it feels.  This is it.  It doesn’t matter how bad it hurts.  Thankfully, and this is usually the case with this type of injury, as I warmed up, it started to calm down.  It usually flares up worst when you just…

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