Fernandez vaulting to the top
Eudora sophomore pole vaulter Anna Fernandez matched the school record in the pole vault, but she hopes she will add a few more pages in the Eudora track and field record book this season.
Fernandez, who broke the Eudora High School girls' pole vault record with a 7-6 effort at Wellsville, recorded another 7-6 vault at the Perry-Lecompton Invitational Tuesday. She defeated the second place opponent from Basehor-Linwood by one foot.
"I'm hoping to get to 9-6 this season and I'm pretty sure I will," Fernandez said. "It was a great feeling. Last year was so much different. I'd always get beat by a foot."
Fernandez attributes her improvement to a summer track clinic she attended at Kansas University last summer and training with Eudora boys pole vaulters Nate Cleveland, Bryan Schiller, and Joey Donahue.
Cleveland said he knew Fernandez was capable of becoming an elite pole vaulter after learning the ropes as a freshman.
"She really didn't know what she was doing last year," Cleveland said. "I showed her some things and (field events) coach Phil Katzenmeier showed her some things. Now she's got the school record."
Katzenmeier said that Fernandez's background as a gymnast has been beneficial for the sophomore pole vaulter.
"We mostly work on consistent approach," Katzenmeier said. "She has a consistent approach, and I'm sure she'll make eight feet. She had a real good attempt at eight feet very early in the season."
Fernandez, who also competes in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, plans to attend the Kansas University track clinic this summer.
She is looking forward to competing in the Eudora Invitational and the Cardinal Relays on April 12 and 19, respectively.
"I hope to do very good in front of my friends and show them how much I improved," Fernandez said.
Eudora Track Coach Dave Durkin expects Fernandez to steadily improve each meet.
"She was pretty good," Durkin said. "We're hoping maybe Friday she'll get eight feet. (Eventually), she could get nine feet."