Marysville High School’s Brynn Rychlik skies toward the bar during the Division I girls state pole vault championships. Rychlik, who placed sixth during the state meet, will compete on Thursday during the national high school meet in Eugene, Oregon. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
Meet will be held Thursday in Oregon
Nearly a month ago, Brynn Rychlik finished the best season ever for a Marysville High School girls pole vaulter.
She established a pair of school records during the 2020-21 school year, which was her senior season.
Rychlik set a new girls indoor record of 13 feet and bettered that by three inches during the 2021 spring outdoor campaign.
Rychlik won the championship during the Ohio Capital Conference Cardinal Division meet and went on to claim top honors during the Division I district and regional competitions.
She finished sixth in the D-I girls state event that was held at Hilliard Darby High School.
For her effort at the state meet, Rychlik was named an All-Ohio athlete.
In a few days, the Marysville High School graduate will test her skills against the best girls high school vaulters in the country.
Rychlik will pole vault during the national high school track and field meet on Thursday at Hayward Field.
Competition will be held in Eugene, Oregon, on the campus of the University of Oregon.
“A vaulter had to reach a minimum height of 12-8 this past season in order to be considered for the national meet,” said Rychlik. “After you reached that height, you were able to sign up for the national competition.”
Rychlik will be competing against more than 20 of the top high school girls vaulters from the 2021 season during the one-day event.
She knows the competition will be stout, even more so than what she encountered during the state meet.
“I know I’m going to go up against a lot of great vaulters … the best in the country,” she said.
Rychlik has checked into the best efforts of vaulters who have entered the competition.
Her Marysville school record of 13-3, she said, ranks her seventh or eighth among the nation’s top vaulters.
Rychlik expects Thursday’s competition to begin at 12 feet and move up increments.
Each vaulter will have three opportunities to clear each height, which is how the event is conducted on the national high school level.
The top vaulter going into the competition is Paige Sommers, who competed last week during the United States Olympic Trials on the same track in Oregon.
Sommers did not advance to the finals of the trials.
Sommers, who is from Westlake, Callifornia, set a new girls high school national record of 14-9 during her 2021 senior season.
“That’s really getting up there,” laughed Rychlik.
Sommers will continue her vaulting career at Duke University.
“It’s going to be awesome to see and compete against the best high school-aged vaulters in the country,” she said.
“I want to get up close to them.”
The top eight placers during the national meet will earn a trip to the awards podium.
Those athletes will also be named high school All-Americans.
Rychlik is hoping the weather is more cooperative this week than it was for last week’s Olympic Trials.
“I watched the Trials from Oregon on television and the head winds were just insane,” she said. “I’m hoping those winds calm down by the time I vault on Thursday.”
The West Coast has also been experiencing an unusual hot spell over the past few weeks with triple-digit heat.
The Lady Monarch vaulter was disappointed with her sixth-place state finish at a height of 12-6.
However, she said she will hopefully use that experience to her advantage at the nationals.
“I switched to a heavier pole too late during the state meet and I wasn’t used to it,” she said.
“That was a valuable lesson,” said Rychlik. “At the nationals, I will be more prepared and be ready to use a pole better suited for whatever the circumstances may be.”
Rychlik said she will be going on a vacation after the nationals.
However, she still plans on a busy summer schedule before leaving for the University of Akron in the middle of August.
She will compete in several summer events with her club team, Buckeye Pole Vault, which is based in Sunbury.
“It’s going to be a full summer schedule,” she said.
Rychlik is currently training under a workout program designed by the University of Akron coaching staff.
She will begin fall workouts at the Mid American Conference school once she arrives on campus.
Those workouts will help prepare her for the college indoor and outdoor seasons.