While most high school kids are enjoying their last few weeks of summer vacation, Northwest’s Desiree Freier has been busy.
The Northwest High School senior just returned from the IAAF World Championships in the Ukraine, where she competed in the pole vault finals. Freier captured ninth, making her one of the top ten 16-17 year-old female pole vaulters in the world.
“I think it shows that there is a lot more competition out there than I thought,” she said. “I mean, it was good, and I don’t really know what was off, but I tried my best.”
Fighting tough weather conditions, Freier vaulted 12’11 – well off the 13’9 she cleared in Austin in May to set the state 5A record.
“I’m not disappointed – I’m very proud of what I was able to accomplish,” she said. “I just feel I could have done better.”
Although Freier missed out on a medal, Team USA collected 17 medals over the four days of competition – two gold, seven silver and eight bronze. USA totaled 152 points, easily surpassing second-place Germany with 104 and third-place China with 100.
“It was a great experience,” Freier said. “I got to meet a lot of new people, experience a new language and try new foods. It was a great opportunity, and I had a blast. We had a neat team that really grew into a big family.”
Freier vaulted 12’9 in the preliminaries to advance to the finals. Her good friend and teammate Zoe McKinley of Hurst also advanced.
“It was nice to have Zoe go with me,” Freier said. “We’ve been vaulting for two years together.”
The two advanced to the World Championships after their performance at the World Trials in Illinois last month. Freier jumped 13’1 to qualify for a spot on Team USA while McKinley had a vault of 12’7.
Her busy summer schedule won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Freier left Tuesday for the 2013 USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships at North Carolina AT&T University in Greensboro, NC.
She competed in the USATF after her freshman season when she finished fifth. Freier now returns after her junior season where she is coming off her second-straight Class 5A state championship. Her 13’9 is a personal best and just five inches off the national record of 14’2.
“Two years ago I finished fifth, and it was not my greatest day,” she said. “My goal this year is to jump 14’0.”