At Brown Lumber Industries, on the northwest side of Jacksonville, in a tin building at the back of the complex, three Division One pole vaulters are preparing for the biggest meet of the season.
Branson Ellis made a name for himself at Robert E. Lee High School, winning gold at the UIL State Meet the last two years.
That success has continued into college, where he was named SFA’s male athlete of the year and top rookie.
“Really working hard and it’s just now starting to pay off, and I’m starting to see everything pay off,” said Eliis. “It’s amazing to see what hard work really ends up turning into.”
Nastassja Campbell is also a freshman, and secured her spot in Austin with a third place finish in Sacramento, and she has never let her age, or experience, put a ceiling on what she can accomplish.
“I never really think about my class when I think about competing, because you know, i’m just a really big competitor, said Campbell. “When I get to a meet, I want to jump as high as I can and I don’t let that limit me.”
Former White Oak Ladyneck, Madison Pecot, just transferred to SFA from UT Arlington, and has already made the most of her 5th year option.
“I go back to White Oak sometimes and see my old coach they still, everybody knows what we do here at SFA,” said Pecot. “SFA has kind of starting to get known for pole vault.”
It’s a Lumberjack legacy, and for these three, they’ll keep looking for ways to raise the bar.
“We’ve had some talent from East Texas, but just to be able to represent East Texas, it just feels like an honor,” said Ellis.
The vaulters will start their quest for a title at Mike Myers Stadium in Austin, next Thursday June 6.