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FHC Sports Report

The home for coverage of all FHC athletics

FHC Sports Report

The home for coverage of all FHC athletics

FHC Sports Report

Senior Brooke Bowers continues to elevate as one of the nation’s best pole vaulters


The bar held up high by two posts lies ahead of senior pole vaulter Brooke Bowers as she stares down the runway. A simple yet incredibly complex routine of running mixed with hurling herself over the bar will determine her place among some of the greatest in the nation.

Brooke has continuously shown her pole vault talent across her high school career and in meets across the country, but this will be the last year for Brooke to “set the bar” one level higher during her upcoming senior season at FHC.

Brooke is no stranger to setting records here at FHC, having broken the pole vault record multiple times since her freshman year. With the record of only 10 feet, five and quarter inches before she arrived, it has since jumped up to 12 and a half feet from her sophomore season. Brooke reflects on her undefeated season last year but isn’t satisfied due to the lack of a personal record from the previous season.

“I’ve been able to set some records,” Brooke said. “But last season for spring season wasn’t my best. So I was able to train pretty hard over this summer and then ended up PRing by over a foot. So hopefully this season is going to be a good season.”

While Brooke’s junior season didn’t pan out as imagined, she remained undefeated in all MHSAA competitions and was crowned the Michigan high school state champion in the pole vault. Nonetheless, Brooke continues to soar to new heights with even bigger goals set in mind for her last year in a Ranger jersey.

This current indoor season, Brooke has made a statement to start her senior year by breaking her own indoor state record for 13 feet, eight and a quarter inches above ground. With all this progress rolling into her best year of pole vault, Brooke shares her goals for the upcoming outdoor season and beyond.

“I think my goal for the spring outdoor season would be 14 feet plus,” Brooke said. “And then I’m hoping to start off college with my freshman year jumping 14′ 6″, and just working to the 15-foot bar.”

Speaking of college, Brooke also plans to take her talents to the next level and compete for collegiate awards to add to her collection. While where she wants to go for the next step is currently undecided, Brooke has had visits and offers from powerhouse schools such as Michigan State, Penn State, and Tennesee.

Competing on the largest stage of the Olympics is also within sight and reach for Brooke as well. She shares how The Olympics has always been something she has been wanting to do.

“I think long term my goal would be to qualify for the Olympic trials,” Brooke explained. “That would be really cool. But I would want to do it early on, instead of late into my college career.”

Even with great success, must come great sacrifice and countless hours of practice. Along with quitting volleyball after her junior year, Brooke dedicates major amounts of time to perfecting her craft, where the payout may be less than an inch of a PR. However, she continues to work on the parts of pole vault she already excels at: speed, shoulder strength, and core strength.

Technique also plays a monumental role in pole vault as it separates the good from the great. Brooke has already shown that she has cemented her spot in the category of greats. She explains how this is attributed due to her countless work each week on technique.

“So training-wise,” Brooke said, “I drive out Mondays and Wednesdays and it’s like an hour [to the pole vault facility], and we’re usually there the whole afternoon. But training Mondays will go from a shorter approach to work on technique. Then Wednesdays I’ll do practice from my full run; so I’ll get all the way back to like seven or eight steps, which is like 14 to 16 steps total.”

While Brooke may be the one vaulting thirteen-plus feet in the air, she has an incredible support system around her which consists in a large part, of her dad. Brooke comments on how her dad has been a big influence on her pole vault career.

“Definitely. I think he is for sure a big influence,” Brooke said. “He’s been able to learn a lot from [pole vault] and now he is my coach for high school, so he’s been around it ever since I started.”

Brooke’s family is no stranger to stranger to track and field, especially pole vault. Brooke’s father, Paul, continued his track career first a Huntington, then moving to run at Ohio State. Although her dad may have not been involved with pole vault early on, Brooke shares how other family members got her engaged in the world of vaulting.

“About eight years ago I was in Ohio visiting my cousin and she was a pole vaulter in high school and college,” Brooke recalled. “And she brought me to one of her practices just for fun. I tried it, really liked it, and my dad thought I could be good at it. So then when we came back home to Michigan, he signed me up to do practices in Rockford and then I’ve been going ever since.”

Although all of this work, practice, and glory leads up to one last high school season, Brooke has her eyes set on what the future can bring. Coming second overall at New Balance Nationals last spring and earning All-American honors in Philadelphia, she continues to strive for a national championship. Brooke shares what all the hard work has helped her accomplish and what she hopes to achieve in the future.

“I’m ranked fourth in the nation with my 13′ 8.25″ jump,” Brooke said. “So hoping to get 14 feet soon and win nationals.”


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About the Contributor
Will Banfield
Will Banfield, Staff
Will is a senior at Forest Hills Central High School and this is his first year on the FHC Sports Report staff. Will plays varsity soccer, runs cross country in the fall, and runs track in the spring. Wills enjoys hanging out with his friends and also playing on the same teams with them. Will enjoys photography in his free time and is employed at Thornapple River Nursery. Will's favorite sports teams include  Chicago Fire, Detroit Lions, Detroit Tigers, and Manchester City.   Favorite Travel Destination: Las Vegas Favorite Food: Hot Wings Favorite Season: Spring Biggest Fear: Getting yelled at by a coach  

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