LA CROSSE — The state track and field meet at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse barely got started before inclement weather suspended the meet for about five and a half hours Saturday, but not even a delay can stop Bonnie Draxler.
While the meet was suspended the pole vault competition was moved inside and that’s where Draxler made history once again. The Wrightstown senior won her fourth straight Division 2 pole vault title by breaking her state record of 12 feet, 7 inches with a height of 13-3.
Even though the competition was moved inside the record will stand for the outdoor meet and afterwards Draxler was quite pleased.
“It means a lot,” said Draxler, who has eight state records with two more competitions on Saturday. “Just to jump 13 I was pretty happy and 13-3 was awesome.”
Draxler didn’t make her first vault until the bar was at 10-6. By then she was only one of four competitors left from the original 17 in the event.
After the San Diego State recruit cleared 10-6 she was the only one left and that’s when “The Bonnie Draxler Show” kicked in. With everyone in Mitchell Hall surrounding the pole vault area Draxler cleared 11-6 with ease and then 12-6.
Then her dad and coach, Rob, had some words for her. They always talk between attempts and this is what he said to her: “I told her, ‘Bonnie all the other vaults you did were for Wrightstown track, why don’t you do out and do one for Bonnie,’ and she did 13 and 13-3.”
This is when the crowd really got into it. As she prepared to run to the pit the crowd began slow clapping.
“It made it feel like I was at a pole vault meet, it was pretty cool, it was awesome,” Draxler said.
If the weather would’ve been pleasant Draxler wouldn’t have had the stage for herself as the pole vault is competed outside during other running events at the meet. But inside made it her show and she said moving inside didn’t change her approach.
“Sometimes it’s easier to vault inside because you don’t have any wind,” she said.
“It really didn’t change too much,” Rob said. “We love to vault with a tail wind, that’s what all vaulters love. The conditions were right for a record.”
The end of the event marked the end of Draxler being coached by her father. As you can imagine they both loved competing together.
“He’s helped me so much,” Bonnie said. “I wanted to make it for him because he works as hard as I do.”
“She worked so hard trying to get her state record raised and to see her do it and be able to be her coach almost brings tears to my eyes,” Rob said. “From the parent perspective it’s overwhleming. I just can’t wait to watch her at San Diego State.”
No doubt, The Bonnie Draxler Show is a must-see.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay