WRIGHTSTOWN — So Bonnie Draxler qualified for Team USA in the World Junior Track and Field Championships. If you’ve ever seen her compete, you’re probably not too surprised.
Draxler is one of the most decorated high school girls track and field athletes the state has ever seen, but if you’re unfamiliar with her, for some reason, it can lead to a funny moment.
At FOX 11 Monday our sports intern was asked to search for Draxler video on our computer system, so he typed in her name and once her name showed up in the search, he said, “Holy cow, there’s a lot of video.”
The rest of us laughed because, well, yeah, of course there’s a lot of video. This girl won 10 individual state titles during her career at Wrightstown.
Draxler has always been a level above everyone in terms of pole vaulting and later this month she will go up against the best in the world under the age of 20. The four-time Division 2 state champion pole vaulter and state-record holder reached the world championships after she placed second by clearing 13 feet, 11 ¼ inches at the U.S.A Track and Field Junior Championships at Eugene, Ore., last weekend.
“It meant so much for me, especially after finishing high school,” Draxler said. “This is kind of like the beginning of my college career. I guess just starting off right and being able to compete at Hayward Field was such an amazing experience in itself and I had a lot of fun.
“It was a new p.r. (personal record) so I was super excited about that. I just barely skimmed over it. It was the greatest feeling ever.”
Draxler set the state record in the pole vault this spring, clearing 13-3 indoors at the state meet, so about one month later she goes more than eight inches higher. Why?
“The spring in Wisconsin is cold and rainy and it’s just real difficult to pole vault; the poles don’t bend as well,” Draxler explained. “It’s a lot easier to vault in the summer and I can move my run back farther and keeps the legs looser, too,”
Draxler will return to Eugene at the end of the month (July 22-27 for the world championships) and can’t wait to see how she stacks up against the world.
“First goal is to make it through the qualifying day, into finals and see how high I can go,” Draxler said. “I’m not sure what the other competition will be like in other countries.”
They better be really good, otherwise Draxler will just soar right by them, like usual.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay