Lauren Mikel

Created: 05/28/2014 10:34 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- "Usually, you just try and run as hard as you can, and then drive your knee and get your feet up, finish your turn, and hopefully, the bar stays," Stewartville junior Lauren Mikel said.

Mikel makes it sound simple, but pole vaulting can be anything but.

"If you don't enjoy it, it gets to be dangerous and you lose interest really fast," Stewartville pole vaulting coach Tony Tuseth said. "(Lauren) is very persistent, and has made a lot of progress over the years."

Mikel started vaulting as a seventh grader, and this year, set the school record with a mark of ten feet.

"That happened down at Grand Meadow when she was jumping into the wind, and because she does run so strong, she managed to fight the wind off, and jump very, very well there," Tuseth said.

"I was pretty excited, and kind of surprised," Mikel said.

"If you look at her personality and you look at the event, they don't seem to match so well," Tuseth said. "She seems like she's pretty calm, and almost a little timid, but when she gets on the runway, she runs harder than anybody we've got. She's kind of fearless when she gets on the runway, and it's fun to watch."

Mikel is one of 13 girls looking for the section title tomorrow in Winona.

"I'm kind of nervous, but it looks like it's going to be a nice day, so hopefully, just give it my best," Mikel said.

"I think she's got the potential to get to state," Tuseth said. "We've got another gal that's got the potential to go there too, so it's going to be fun to watch them compete."