School: Fairmont, Kettering, OH
HS Class: 2013
- 100 Meter Hurdles 15.35
- 400 Meter Dash 1:08.34
- 55 Meter Hurdles 8.89
- 60 Meter Hurdles 9.55
- High Jump 5-6
- Long Jump 18-2.5
- Pole Vault 12-0
Kettering Fairmont Senior Natalie Uy, the 2012 winner of the Arnold Sports Festival Columbus Rotary Scholarship, is a very versatile athlete, competing in the hurdles, high jump, long jump and the pole vault. She has excellent marks in all of her events and qualified for last years D1 championships in the long jump and the high jump. She placed 7th in the long jump and 13th in the high jump. This indoor season she has concentrated more on the pole vault and has the State's leading jump of 12-0. She is motivated by knowing that she can continue to improve. She has set ambitious, but attainable goals and we just may see her on the podium this June in more than one event.
OHRunners: Natalie, as we head to the middle of the 2013 indoor season, you have the State’s leading vault of 12-0 and are ranked 2nd in the 55H, in a time of 8.89. You are also ranked 4th in the HJ, with a jump of 5-4 and 17th in the LJ with a jump of 16-8.25. Last year as a junior, in the OHSAA State meet, you were 7th in the D1 LJ with a jump of 17-2 and 13th in the HJ, jumping 5-2. Before we talk about each of your events and your goals for this year, let’s look back at your career.
When did you first get involved in Track? What events did you participate in?
Natalie: I began track as a 7th grader at Van Buren middle school. In my first year participating, I was put in the 800 and 400. I actually hated track and was determined to never do it again after I was put in two 800's in one meet. But, for some reason, I decided on going out again in the 8th grade. My coach finally let me do HJ and LJ. I jumped 5'2" that year.
OHRunners: You qualified for State last year and were 7th in the LJ (17-02) and 13th in the HJ (5-2). In both events you did not perform near your PR's. It was your first time at State. Take us through your experience and each of those events.
Natalie: Yes, um state was definitely not my strongest performance. That is for sure. HJ was just all around bad. I don't think I warmed up well enough nor was I mentally prepared. LJ was such an awesome event that day. I almost did not make it into finals, but I skimmed by and made the very last spot and was able to pull something out and get myself on the podium. State was very windy and little chilly for me, which I know should not be an excuse, but in reality I just did not warm up properly and I was not able to perform the way I had performed at Regionals and Districts. But, all in all, it was an amazing experience and I'm so thankful that I got to be able to go in two events.
OHRunners: Where do you practice at this time?
Natalie: Right now I mostly just do weight training in my school's weight room. I do this twice a week. Typically, and I try to run once a week also. I do not have a place to work on specific event training in the winter except for PV. I have been going to Wright State once a week to work on PV.
OHRunners: What type of weight training are you doing? Weights? Reps, etc.
Natalie: I do Olympic lifts-hang-clean (not sure if that is what it's called) and snatch. I squat and do dumbbell routines. Currently I am trying to master the bubka... It's pretty hard and a very strange exercise to master.
OHRunners: You participate in 4 different events; hurdles, High Jump, Long Jump and Pole Vault? How much time do you spend on running, weight training and event technique?
Natalie: I don't actually practice hurdles, HJ or LJ until the outdoor season. Even then, I practice minimally, only about twice a week. I guess my practice on these events is doing them at a meet. We didn't have a PV coach last year. This year we will have one, but our head coach and I have decided that I will continue working and training with Terry Wasson.
OHRunners: What is a typical training week for you?
Natalie: A typical training week is Sunday I vault, Monday and Wednesday I have weight training and on Thursday I just go out and try to open up my stride a little bit.
OHRunners: One would find it difficult to concentrate on 4 events and as you move forward in your career, it will become more and more difficult to compete in each at a high level. You went to State last year in High Jump and the Long Jump. However, you have a State leading vault at this time of 12-0. Do you see yourself concentrating on fewer events the remainder of the year? If so, which events? For example, your 12-0 vault puts you in a very strong position in the State. The leading D1 Vault returner is Morgan Estes of Green who has vaulted 12-6 and is the defending OATCCC State Indoor Champion and the 2012 OHSAA D1 State Champion.
Natalie: I think that I have the most potential in PV. I love it! Terry has really made a huge impact on me. I mean, I do like the other events, but I feel that I am built for and suited most for the PV. I feel that in college I can improve in the other events, but that my height and size may limit me in HJ an LJ. When I see college vaulters, I see myself as my body type is most similar to theirs. As for focusing in on an event, I definitely want to put my energies into PV, but if possible, within the limits of my body, I would like to put time into them all. Haha! I don't like to get bored with one event! But for me, PV is the most exciting out of all of them! So I would say that it is my favorite event right now and probably what I want to put the most time into this season.
OHRunners: How would you describe yourself as an athlete? What motivates you?
Natalie: I would say that I am a very dedicated athlete and I always want to better myself. I love seeing improvement in myself. What motivates me is always knowing that I can improve. I feel so incredibly blessed that I have been given the talent that I have and I want to use it for the right purpose. I want to take my talent and use it for something good. I want to inspire people, through hard work, dedication and perseverance. Also, knowing that I may be able to use my talent in college is a big motivation. If I am able to obtain a scholarship, it would allow me to use the money that I would save for greater purposes; such as traveling to different countries on either mission trips or to study their culture/language. With the money that I could save if I am able to get a scholarship, I could help to improve other people's lives, as well as gain new experiences. Also, what motivates me is knowing that each and every time I practice, I am getting stronger. I love growing and seeing the results. Not only am I motivated to do well in track, but I think that track motivates me to be better in other areas of my life. I make sure to keep an extremely healthy diet and to keep ahead on my studies. I take care of my body and make smart decisions (at least most of the time...) so that I can excel in track.
OHRunners: What are your goals for the remainder of the Indoor and Outdoor seasons? Are you going to particpate in the OATCCC Indoor Championships? If so, what event/events?
Natalie: I don't really know how many more indoor meets there are that I will compete in and I have not really set any indoor goals. I will not be participating in the Indoor Championships. I have State DECA competition that I promised my partner I would be at... Also, it is my spring break and I bought plane tickets before I knew about the state meet. Hopefully, I can show what I'm made of at the Outdoor State meet!!
My outdoor goals however, are ambitious, but very attainable. HJ -5'8, LJ- 19, 100H - 14.9, PV - 13'2.
OHRunners: Thanks Natalie. We will look forward to watching you accomplish all of your goals this Spring.