Alyssa McBride Ohio's National Indoor PV Champion

Alyssa McBride  Bryan High School 2012

Personal Bests

  •         100 Meter Dash  13.23
  •         200 Meter Dash  27.94
  •         High Jump  4-10
  •         Long Jump  15-0.75
  •         Pole Vault  13-0

Alyssa, you are currently ranked #2 Nationally in the Pole Vault.  You are the New Balance Indoor National Champion with a vault of 12-08.75 (3.88m) Your 13-00.00 vault on 2/18 in the Akron Rubber City Open also placed you on a short list of only three girls from Ohio who have cleared the 13-.00 height. Your vault is the State Indoor record and tied the State Outdoor record shared  by Katie Nageotte of Olmstead Falls (D1, 2009) and Mackenzie Wills of Troy Christian (D3, 2008).

OHRunners:  How long have you been vaulting?

Alyssa:  I have been pole vaulting since 7th grade.

OHRunners:  Was this in Middle School?  How high did you go?  Did you commit to vaulting at this time or was it in your Freshman year?

Alyssa:  Yeah, it was in middle school and I went 8'8". I committed to vaulting at the beginning of my freshman year.

OHRunners:  I noticed that you are a gymnast.  Are you still competing in Gymnastics?  Private Club or only High School?  What level are you?

Alyssa:  I just finished my last season of high school gymnastics. I did club gymnastics until 8th grade and I was a level 9. I started high school gymnastics in 11th grade.

OHRunners:   It seems that gymnastics is a very good prerequisite for PV.  How would you say that being a gymnast has benefited you with the PV?

Alyssa:  Being a gymnast has benefited my pole vaulting because it has given me upper body strength and has taught me how to swing. Gymnastics has helped me to be more aware of my body position while I'm in the air. It has given me more confidence as an individual in front of people.

OHRunners:  Where do you train (PV) in the off season and indoors?  Who is Indoor coach?

Alyssa:  I train in Fort Wayne, Indiana at Vault High Athletics. My indoor coach is Paul Babits. I have been vaulting there since I was a freshman.

OHRunners:  I know that the gymnastics season just finished and outdoor track practices have just started.  How often do you go to Vault High?  What is a typical week of practice for you now, with the State Indoor Meet just around the corner?  Does Coach Babit help with the Outdoor season?

Alyssa:  I try to go to Vault High twice a week, usually on Sundays and Wednesdays. I now do my high school track practices which consist of running mostly sprints and when the weather is nice we will do our field events. He still helps me in the outdoor season when I have the time to go train with him.

OHRunners:  What other events do you participate in?What other events do you participate in?

Alyssa:  I participate in 100, 200, and high jump

OHRunners:  How would you describe pole vaulting?  In other words, what are you concentrating on as you stand at the end of the vault runway? What are your thoughts as you run down the runway?  Once you plant the pole, what is your thought process in the remainder of the vault?  How would you describe the sensation of being inverted and the pole thrusting you upward? 

Alyssa:  As I stand at the end of the runway, I am concentrating on my swing.  When I am running down the runaway, I am thinking about my run speed. Once I plant the pole, I concentrate on swinging to the top of the pole and turning. It gives me thrills and excitement as the bar gets higher and my adrenaline increases.  I vault because I love everything about it. I like the feeling of accomplishment that I get every time I make a new bar height. 

OHRunners:   I noticed that Ellie Braidic of Pandora-Gilboa also competed in some of Vault High’s indoor competitions.  I believe Ellie was also a gymnast.  Have you and Ellie trained together?  How is your relationship with Ellie?

Alyssa:  Yes, Ellie and I train with each other at Vault High. I have a good friendship with her and I enjoy vaulting with her.

OHRunners:  What was your Freshman year of vaulting like?  What height did you clear?

Alyssa:  My freshman year of vaulting was mostly learning technique. It was exciting for me because I broke the school record my second meet of the season. I cleared 10'8" at Districts as a freshman and at Regionals I just missed making it to state.

OHRunners:  You were 4th at State in 2010 with a vault of 12-00.  You were second in 2011 as a Junior, just 3” back of Rebecca Herte of Black River with a vault of 11-6.  While you improved your place, your State vault height was lower than in 2010 and you had vaulted 12-3.5 earlier in the season.  How did vaulting at State in 2010 prepare you for 2011?  Was your second place finish in 2011 disappointing in that you were ranked 3rd in the State Outdoors for all divisions?

Alyssa:  At State as a sophomore I actually made 11'9". Vaulting at State in 2010 prepared for 2011 because I knew what to expect and was able to not be nervous. At first, I was a little disappointed with my 2nd place finish, but I am happy with it now because I am using it to motivate me to win state this year.

OHRunners:  How would you describe yourself as an athlete?

Alyssa:  I would describe myself as a hard working athlete. I am always setting new goals for myself and determined to do my best. 

OHRunners:  You are the clear favorite in D2 this year outdoors.  Indoors however, the 2/3 competition should be very competitive with three D3 girls, Junior Morgan Horn of Waynesfield-Goshen (11-6), Ellie Braidic of Pandora-Gilboa (12-4) and Amanda Hotaling of North Baltimore (12-4) all strong vaulters.  Hotaling was last year’s State D-3 runner up with a 12-0.0 vault.  How do you view the upcoming Indoor State meet?

Alyssa:  I wish I could compete in the upcoming indoor state meet, but I am unable to because my school does not participate in indoor track. I always enjoy competing with those girls. I will be watching for the results.

OHRunners:  That’s too bad that you won’t be able to compete in the Indoor State meet.  Your presence would have added an anticipation and excitement to the PV competition.  Moving on however, what are your goals for the Outdoor season?

Alyssa:  My goals for the outdoor season are to win state, set a new state record, continue to better my PR, and to stay healthy. 

OHRunners:   Alyssa, thank you so much for your time.  We will be watching you vault this Spring.  Hopefully, we will see you over that 13' bar!