Reaching for the sky

Freshman kicks off high school career with record-breaking vault


Tracy Tran

Coppell sophomore Sky Schuller releases at the Coppell Relays at Buddy Echols Field on Feb. 29. Schuller broke the Coppell pole vaulting record with 13 feet at the Coppell Relays, the 100-meter hurdles record with 14.56 seconds at the Coppell Relays and again with 14.10 seconds at The Colony Invitational on March 5 and tied the high jump record with 5 feet 6 inches at both the Flower Mound Relays on Feb. 22 and The Colony Invitational on March 5. Photo by Tracy Tran

Sreeja Mudumby, Staff Writer

Fast-paced breaths. Hands tight on the pole. All eyes looking her way. She launches off of the pole and flies through the air. She falls on the mat. Screams of happiness fill the air as she catches her breath.

Coppell freshman Sky Schuller broke Coppell High School’s official pole vaulting record with 13 feet at the Coppell Relays on Feb. 29. The previous record was 12 feet. 

“It’s such a good feeling,” Schuller said. “Just being able to go through the air is so good. Seeing [the] coach’s face smiling after I broke the record [was] amazing.” 

Along with breaking the pole vault record, Schuller also broke the 100-meter hurdles record at the Flower Mound Relays on Feb. 22 with 14.56 seconds and again at The Colony Invitational with 14.1 seconds. She also tied the high jump record at the Coppell Relays with 5 feet 6 inches. 

“Her greatest strength is to be so good athletically but still remain so humble and so down to earth,” Coppell freshman track teammate Waverly Hassman said. “She’s just this normal girl who is so nice and so sweet to everyone, but she’s also just amazing at everything she does.”

Schuller’s pole vaulting journey began when she was in the seventh grade at Coppell Middle School West. Ever since she embarked as a pole vaulter, she has had strong devotion to the sport. Her endless dedication pushed her to break the record. 

“[Schuller] is very determined and she doesn’t let anything get in her way,” Coppell freshman track teammate Megan Judd said. “She can accomplish anything she puts her mind to.”

Schuller has been involved with running since she was in the fifth grade at Pinkerton Elementary. Though she tried other sports such as basketball and volleyball, pole vault is the one that stuck. 

“My favorite event is pole vault just because it’s just the most fun,” Schuller said. “I just love everything that goes into it and just getting to go so high up into the air; it’s really fun for me.”

Pole vault requires both body strength and flexibility. Through the eyes of the audience, the sport may look light and easy as the athletes swing into the air. But Schuller spends many days in the gym pouring sweat and building energy to match the strength required to pole vault. 

“People usually think that pole vaulting is easy and the pole does all the work for you,” Schuller said. “I train really hard, I go to weight rooms and I work my arms a lot and I do a lot of sprints. I also do a lot of gymnastic drills that will help my swing and allow my vertical to be better.” 

Schuller’s life is surrounded by many people who push her to do her best every day. But her own motivation is what keeps her calm. 

“I always give myself a pep talk in my head before every jump,” Schuller said. “I always tell myself that I can do it and I work myself up so I have a lot of adrenaline to bend the pole and give myself the energy I need.” 

Schuller hopes to inspire upcoming students, and have them look up to her for motivation. 

“I really want to be a role model for younger athletes. When I am a senior, I want to inspire the freshmen and have people be like, ‘wow, she’s really good. I want to be like her’,” Schuller said.  

Despite all efforts, Schuller has managed to surpass the entire history of Coppell in terms of pole vaulting. But her goals stretch much farther than CHS.

“After high school, I really want to get a college scholarship and compete in college for track and if that goes well I would love to go to the Olympics and be on the U.S. National Team,” Schuller said. “Track is my life.”

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