Lipsey vaults into school history with multiple records

Lions junior pole vaulter Ciara Lipsey eyes the runway before attempting a vault.

Jim Quist

Lions’ junior pole vaulter Ciara Lipsey eyes the runway before attempting a vault.

Parker Willis

Having already had a great season, winning conference and becoming an all-American, one Lion keeps setting the bar higher.

Last weekend, junior pole-vaulter Ciara Lipsey set another record at the Pittsburg State Gorillas Classic.

She vaulted 12’5 1/2,” which not only broke her previous personal record, it broke the facility record in Pittsburg, the Southern outdoor record and it has put her at 6th in the national Division II rankings.

Up until last year, Lipsey, a marketing major, had been inching her way up to become a better athlete, but over her summer break she decided to start lifting weights to improve her game.

“I observed that the athletes jumping higher than me were stronger, faster and more confident at the box,” Lipsey said. “So I started focusing on those things in the last year and it’s really helped.”

Patty Vavra, women’s track and field coach, said she has also noticed the difference.

“She is more mature, more confident and has gone beyond what we ask,” Vavra said. “You can see a major difference, she has definitely made a commitment this year.”

Lipsey’s last big jump of 12’4 3/4″set the school indoor record, won her the conference championship and put her in the national meet.

“I feel like up until this year I’ve always just been told how much potential people see in me and I don’t think I ever had the confidence in myself to believe them until this year,” Lipsey said.

Vavra said this individual success has also helped the team.

“She has really taken on a leadership role” Vavra said. “That’s always a great motivator for our younger athletes.”