By BRODY FELDMANN
Yukon’s Kyla Davis has been one of the state’s top pole vaulters for the past few years. Now, she’s one of the nation’s best in her age bracket.
Davis finished at the runner-up at the AAU Junior Olympics with a vault of 11-feet, 9-inches in her division.
The competition was held earlier this week in Greensboro, North Carolina.
“I was really excited to go and compete. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be. I was more excited than anything and ready to jump,” Davis said.
Davis has been a standout in the pole vault since her freshman year, and earned the right to compete in the national championship event by winning the AAU Region 16 event on June 30 with a jump of 12-feet, 6-inches. The family didn’t know if they would be able to make the trip with such a short turnaround.
“We weren’t sure how we would get there and get everything done. But we started figuring out ways that we could get there. We didn’t want to pass up the opportunity,” Davis said.
Davis, her mother and one of her closest friends made the trip.
Davis said the higher the bar went, the more nervous she got.
“I was definitely more nervous when it got to higher heights. When it would come up to my jump, I would get a little more nervous than I normally do,” Davis said about what she learned from the competition.
“I was doing really good. I was glad about how I did,” Davis said.
It was her first competition after transitioning to a bigger pole and a longer run, and she said that she gained confidence with both aspects for her next competition.
“I was running from a longer run than I normally do, and that helped me get on my bigger poles a lot easier. So, now I know kind of where I’m at for my longer run and what kind of poles I need. That will give me a better idea of how to get better for future competitions,” Davis said.
Davis enjoyed getting to go to a national competition and competing against new faces from across the United States.
“It’s interesting and more exciting because I had closer competition than what I normally have. I’m competing with people who can push me, and I can see how I do under pressure when people are jumping just as high as me,” she said.