GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Liberty High School track and field program is about to gain a talented pole vaulter in Rachel Homoly.
Homoly, an incoming freshman for the Blue Jays, won a national title and a gold medal in the 14-year-old division of the AAU Junior Olympic Games, held July 27 to Aug. 3.
Competing for KC Fire, Homoly cleared a series-best height of 11-3 3/4 to tie with two other competitors, but she claimed victory with less misses.
“It was a really cool feeling being my first time winning at the junior Olympics and not winning the year before,” said Homoly, who placed third in the games last summer at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. “It was a really cool thing to be able to stand on the No. 1 stand for the awards, and it was just a really awesome experience.”
In addition to competing for KC Fire, Homoly receives private instruction from Todd Cooper, who works for Excelsior Springs-based Just Vault.
“Coach Cooper definitely helped me a lot with pole vault,” she said. “I have the best coaches and he made me feel good about it and focus on certain things.”
Homoly’s personal best height is 12-4 but she has an unofficial PR in 12-6, which was done during a street vault.
“I was pretty nervous for this, but I was excited,” she said of her emotions prior to the AAU meet. “I definitely didn’t achieve the height that I wanted, but I was feeling really good and powerful on the runway. My main goal was to be relaxed and to win.”