A year ago, she set the school record on her way to a top-five finish.
This year, she vaulted to the top of the state.
Clearing every attempt without a miss while a field of 17 closed to one, Anoka girls track and field junior Sofia Condon captured the Class AAA state pole vault championship with a height of 12-feet June 11 at St. Michael-Albertville High School.
“She had a great day from the very beginning,” Anoka pole vault coach Phill Erickson said. “Everything was coming together nicely and her vaulting was looking smooth and effortless. She handled the stress very well. I don’t think she really gets nervous, so it was all business for her.
“It feels amazing to see her hard work pay off. I’m so proud of her. It takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice to get to her level, so seeing it come to fruition is extremely satisfying. Capping the year off with a state championship is the perfect note to end on.”
Condon broke the school record on her way to a fifth-place finish at state a year ago.
This year, she came in even more ready for state competition.
“Both years I was excited to have the opportunity to compete at the state meet,” Condon said. “Last year going into the meet I had no clue what to expect. It was by far the most strict meet I had been to, and I wasn’t prepared. This year going into the meet knowing what to expect helped a lot; I was able to prepare myself better knowing what this meet is like. This year I also knew a lot of the girls better; watching their vaults and seeing their improvement from the last year to this year was amazing.
“During warmups I could tell that I was going to have a good day. My vaults felt good and I knew with all the work I put in this season, I was ready. There were many great vaulters that made it to the meet so I was unsure of what height it would take to get first.”
Condon’s first attempt came at 11-0, which she cleared on her first vault.
At that point, the field of 17 entrants was already narrowed to eight.
Condon’s second try came at 11-6, cleared again on the first vault as the field closed to five.
Only two others made it past 11-9, with Condon the only competitor to clear at 12-0, securing the state title.
“Everyone had such a good meet and it was awesome to watch,” Condon said. “I enjoyed getting the opportunity to compete at this competitive meet. In the end, it was exciting to find out that I was the state champion.”
This spring offered many challenges, with limited and inconsistent time outdoors, a necessity for the event. All making the accomplishments more impressive and rewarding.
“This season started out rough because of the weather; it was constantly cold, windy, and rainy,” Condon said. "We could only practice outside a couple days a week, and even those practices were cut short because of the cold. This made my season start out rough, so I am happy that I could still make a good improvement from last year.”
Condon’s final attempts at state came at 12-7, attempting to better her school record of 12-6. She will have one more high school season to look to best that mark, and continue to compete as one of the best in the state.
“Through the next season, I have many goals set for myself,” Condon said. “I don’t have a specific height goal yet, but different parts of my vault that I want to continue to work on.”