Daily Egyptian

Women’s pole vaulters remain close despite change

By Ted Ward, @TedWard_DE

Coaching changes and transfers can alter a team dynamic, but the SIU women’s pole vaulters have taken recent changes in stride.

Juniors Katie Trupp, Kacy Murphy, Cara Engel and Katelyn Brown have been vaulting together since their freshman year, and share a bond that goes beyond the track.

“We’re extremely close with each other,” Murphy said. “We spend most of our free time together, from going out to eat or just hanging out. We’re practically best friends.”


When former pole vaulting coach Brian Porter left to take the same position at University of Mississippi, and current sophomore Lindsey Murray followed, it left holes in the team to fill.

Murray holds the all-time indoor record at SIU, with a vault of 14-01.25 feet.

Pole vaulting coach Terry VanLaningham said Trupp and Engel — the top two returners statistically — are the best returners, but anyone has a chance to take the top spot.

Currently Trupp, Engel, Brown and Murphy are third, fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively, all-time at SIU for indoor.

Trupp said the quartet is competitive with each other, but also supportive of their teammates.

“We all want to win, but we cheer for each other and we want each other to do well,” she said. “If all four of us can take the top four spots at the meets then we had a good day.”

Trupp won the Saluki Fast Start meet on Dec. 5 with a height of 12-11.5 feet.

Engel and Murphy rounded out the top-three with heights of 12-07.5 and 12-03.5 feet, respectively.

“We’re off to a good start, but we need to make adjustments to be more consistent and clear the crossbar more often and keep improving,” VanLaningham said. “Mechanically speaking, how they start to how they grip the pole to even when they place it can make a world of difference.”

Murphy said the changes brought them closer together.

“The changes were a bit difficult to comprehend at first, but the great thing was we had each other and we helped each other get through it together rather than separately,” she said.

SIU track and field will be back in action at the Kentucky Invitational on Jan. 15 in Lexington, Ky.

Ted Ward can be reached at [email protected] or 534-3304 


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