If one were to have told Milaca’s Taylar Bockoven at the start of the track season that the seventh grader would advance to the Class A State Meet, let alone be a place winner at the meet, she would have had a hard time thinking that would be the case.
“I would not have believed you,” said Bockoven when asked.
Bockoven took it even a step further than just advancing to the state meet and after a break out performance at the meet on June 19 at St. Michael Albertville High School that saw her spring to a third place finish in the pole vault with a season best 10-06.00, the seventh grader still finds it hard to believe that she reached this point.
“It was definitely above my goals,” she said.
Milaca Pole Vault Coach Sarah Dahlberg and her fellow coaches couldn’t have imagined this ending to the year for Bockoven. “She definitely out exceeded all of our expectations,” she said.
To even make it to the state meet, let alone medal as just a seventh grader was a monumental milestone to reach for the young Milaca athlete said Dahlberg. “I definitely think as a seventh grader, it’s a huge accomplishment,” she said.
Competing at state
Heading to the state meet after a week of preparation, Bockoven looked to just perform well in the meet and feel good about her showing.
Starting off her event clearing the bar on her first four attempts at the first four heights, Bockoven’s preparation looked to be paying off.
Being seeded at 9-08.00, Bockoven was able to surpass that for a personal best in the state meet at 10 feet flat after Dahlberg suggested switching to a different pole for the seventh grader to use. She would not stop there as Bockoven continued to power over the bar, passing 10-03.00 and 10-06.00 to put her in the position to tie a school record at 10-09.00.
Bockoven came close to clearing the height but fell just short, finishing her strong season with a spot on the podium at the state meet.
Being able to watch Bockoven compete and come so close to a record was great to see said Milaca Co-Head Coach Jeremy Mikla. “It was so exciting to watch her compete there,” he said.
Winning the event was Toryn Richards of Waterville-Elysian-Morristown who cleared 10-09.00 to secure the title.
Setting her apart
As for what allowed Bockoven to reach the podium at the state meet was a combination of things according to Dahlberg.
First, being so coachable aided in Bockoven’s progress throughout the season. “She’s also just that athlete that very coachable. You tell her one thing and she’ll go and do it,” she said, as the young Milaca athlete kept trending upwards throughout the year, reaching personal best after personal bests.
Added with being coachable, also allowing Bockoven to continue to see that growth was an ideal body structure for the pole vault. “There’s an ideal body type and Taylar is built as someone who would succeed in the pole vault,” said Dahlberg.
Now entering into the offseason for Bockoven, the Milaca athlete will look to keep growing and improving as she plans to attend camps for the pole vault.
With Milaca entering into a new section next year for track, when asked if she will make it back to the state meet, Bockoven didn’t make any bold predictions
“We will see,” she said.
If Bockoven is able to replicate the success she found this year, it would be hard to imagine anything different for her.