Venezuelan pole vaulting record holder to compete on Monday in Guadalajara
Eastern Washington University’s highly-touted track and field recruit, pole vaulter Keisa Monterola, will be competing in the 2011 Pan American Games with the Venezuelan national team.
Monterola, the national pole vaulting record holder in Venezuela, is flying to Caracas, Venezuela, to join the team Friday. They will fly to Florida the next day and finally land in Guadalajara, Mexico on Sunday. She will be competing in the pole vault on Monday (Oct. 24). This will be the third time the games are being hosted in Mexico.
“The entire coaching staff is really excited.” Said track and field head coach Stan Kerr. “It’s a first for the university to have an athlete go down and represent EWU in an international competition.”
Monterola is a transfer from Clackamas Community College, where she placed first in the 2010 Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Championships (NWAACC). She won with a personal best mark of 14-2 1/2 – a mark that improved her Venezuelan national record. At the 2009 NWAACC Championships, Monterola claimed titles in the pole vault and long jump.
Not only has Monterola dominated in college championships, but she has also represented her country very well in the past. While redshirting at Clackamas, Monterola won the gold medal at the Central American and Caribbean Games, where she set the games record with a mark of 13-9 1/4.
With Monterola participating in the Pan Am games, her training schedule will be different than other students on EWU’s track and field team.
“It’s been a fun challenge in training, because this is typically our general preparation time for track season to start in December,” said Kerr. “For her we’re trying to help her peak at Halloween. And when she returns, we have about a two-week transition-training plan to move her back to where the rest of the team will be. She’ll have two months to re-acclimate into the NCAA schedule where we’re aiming to get her into indoor championships at Boise State and for the outdoor championships at Drake University.”
Monterola is very prepared and excited to be able to represent EWU and Venezuela at the Pan Am Games.
“She’s very excited,” added Kerr. “Once you get that flavor of high-level competition you know you have earned your stripes. It’s kind of a rite of passage into that next level – that’s where you want to compete all the time. At those early season, lesser intensity meets, competition is down and not as deep or skilled. In this case, Keisa knows she’s going to facing some of the best competition in the world. She’s in her element.”