Junior pole vaulter ready to make big impact at Eastern
Junior Keisa Monterola, originally from Caracas, Venezuela, placed fifth in the women’s pole vault on Monday (Oct. 24) at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, as part of the Venezuelan national team.
Monterola reached a mark of 14-1 1/4, which is nearly a foot better than Eastern’s school record in both indoor and outdoor track and field. However, since Monterola was not competing for Eastern in an NCAA sanctioned event, the mark will not count as the school record.
“I’m impressed,” said head coach Stan Kerr. “We knew she was an awfully talented athlete, but this early in the season, to be able to put up a mark like that really speaks words of her talent. And if that’s a harbinger of things to come, hopefully she’s setting her sights on the Big Sky Conference records and competing for an All-American spot.”
In 2003, Emily Roberts claimed the EWU outdoor pole vault record with a jump of 13-2 1/4. In 2007, Sarah Hegna reached a mark of 13-4 1/2 indoors. Elouise Rudy, from Montana State, owns the BSC indoor and outdoor record with marks of 14-1 1/4 and 14-2 1/2, respectively.
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 upon her own Venezuelan national record. Monterola also claimed titles in the pole vault and long jump at the 2009 NWAACC Championships.
“Keisa is a savvy enough competitor to know how to get ready to do the things she needs to do to be successful,” said Kerr. “That’s a testimony to the attitude she brings to the program.”
Monterola will get her first attempt to own Eastern’s school record on Dec. 3 at the fourth annual EWU Candy Cane Invitational in the Jim Thorpe Field House.
“Having Keisa in our program gives us greater publicity to more recruits,” said Kerr. “Much like the football program and the red turf, it can bring a lot of notoriety to our program. It makes recruiting a little easier when we have a high-profile athlete like Keisa succeeding. It speaks to what we’re doing and trying to accomplish, so I think it lays some good ground work for the next couple years.”