HELENA — The Helena Capital pole vault squad is leading the charge in terms of numbers this year with three athletes who have already pre-qualified for the Class AA state track and field meet.
Jaymee Sheridan met the qualifying mark with a vault of 10 feet, Emma Rohrer-Fitzhugh with a vault of 10-6, and Libby Hansen with a jump of 11-6, and the vault crew is attributing their success to their new coach, Mikayla Bloyder.
"This year with Bloyder, I think she's brought us to the next level. She's just right out of college as a vaulter, so she knows what to teach us because she was just doing it," said Sheridan.
"Having Coach Bloyder be similar in age to us and understand what's going through our head most of the time, and she kind of critiques each of us in a different way that we understand personally," said Rohrer-Fitzhugh.
Bloyder is now in her second year of coaching for the Helena Capital track and field team but, in practice, just her first as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bloyder, a former pole vaulter for Carroll College, said her goal for this year as a coach was less focused on the results and more so ensuring her athletes had a good experience.
“My biggest goal is just kind of to get to know the girls, get to know the program, and make it fun, bring some cohesiveness to the program between ... sometimes vaulters can be isolated because we're doing such a different event," said Bloyder. "I think I was just blessed with an awesome group of girls this year, girls that want to work hard, they want to win. They're dedicated, but they also have a blast doing it. So really, I think it's just the girls. I say I'm along for the ride, I'm the cheerleader, I'm the one who encourages them always, but when it comes down to it, it's their hard work and dedication.”