North Florida’s Christina King accomplished that in her fifth attempt at the 2012 Atlantic Sun Track & Field Championship in the women’s pole vault. In the process, she also set the A-Sun Championship and Hodges Stadium Facility Records at a height of 4.00m (13’1.5). Her top height ranks as 38th in the nation and 19th in the NCAA East Region.
King and teammate Caleigh Boyington – the second-place finisher – had a secret weapon in their corner, assistant coach Ken Taylor.
Taylor is the president of Ken Taylor & Associates, a training and consulting firm working with major corporations throughout America for training seminars and motivational speaking. The fourth-year assistant coach asked King to vault with two poles she had never used before – vault with poles she had never tried before.
“Everyday, (Ken) is such a great motivator. He tells me that I’m ready and that I can do this and he is very positive all the time. He kept telling me that I could go for the (Olympic height) and I told him that he was right and I went for the height.”
King failed to reach the height on three attempts, but with North Florida hosting the 2012 NCAA East Regional on May 24-26 at Hodges Stadium, King will have a chance to qualify for nationals and potentially the Olympic Trials in front of the home crowd once again.
“I wanted to set my personal record and that’s what I did first and then I wanted to go for 14 feet which I attempted on a pole I had never been on before,” King said of her standout performance. “I know I can get it, which would be the Olympic Qualifying mark.”
With both King’s and Taylor’s sight on regionals both are confident in Christina’s chance to reach their goal of 14-feet.
“Going into regionals after setting my PR today I’m more in a secure position. Now that I have been on bigger poles I know I can get on it easier and go for 14 feet and try to qualify for nationals."