Our Friday Focus is Messalonskee High School senior Taylor Lenentine. Lenentine is the top ranked pole vaulter in the state this spring, and the third best jumper in outdoor state history. She took a few minutes out of busy schedule to answer a few questions about her success on the track this spring,
You win your first pole vault title during indoors. How does that set the tone for the outdoor season?
It was awesome to be able to win that title in indoor because it has been something I have looked for for a long time but outdoor is a new season. Right now I am just putting hard work and dedication into pole vaulting and we will see where it leads to.
Your school doesn't have a track. You have to go to a nearby school and share the vault with seven other schools. That must make it difficult to train.
It is extremely difficult to share a pit with 7 other schools but at least we have that opportunity to do that in indoor. In outdoor our school does not get to go to Colby for a workout. I am very thankful for the coach I have and the generosity of the Lawrence team to allow my teammates and I to pole vault once a week. With the pit time my teammates and I get though I believe we do very well and we get a lot done.
What's a typical workout week like for you? Do you have a favorite workout or drill?
On a normal week we will do a harder workout Monday and vault on Tuesday. Wednesday is typically a easier workout like block starts and form running to prepare ourselves for the meet Thursday. Friday we will do a mile run and Saturday mornings I wake up at 7 to vault until 9 and at 9 the team goes out and does a harder workout together. My favorite workout is probably being able to go to Lawrence to jump.
Before you were a pole vaulter you were a gymnast How do those skills help you?
Gymnastics has played a huge part in pole vault. The strength I got out of gymnastics has been a huge help in pole vault. Gymnastics has also helped me to know where my feet are at all times.
You've jumped 11'0 and 11'3", two huge personal bests this year. What do you attribute the new PR's too?
The reason I was able to jump 11'0 to 11'3" was due to the hard work, determination and confidence in myself. The support and assurance of a great coach has been a huge part of my success.
That 11'3" is one of the top jumps ever in the state of Maine, third best behind only Lindsey Folsom's 11'7" & Bethany Dumas's 12'0. What does it mean to you to be up there as one of the best?
The idea that I have only done pole vault for 4 years and I am up there with the best is an amazing feeling. I decided to do pole vault because everyone kind of looked at it as a guys sport. Girls could do it but not as well and I was ready to prove them wrong. Girls can do anything they put their mind to. One thing I truly believe though is, could have never done it without my faith. I feel that God has a plan for everyone and when my gymnastics career was coming close to the end God saw Pole vault as my next huge step.
I know you compete in the hurdles as well, but is the pole vault your main focus /favorite event?
This year pole vault has become my main event. It has always been my number one passion. I enjoy pole vault the most because it is so similar to gymnastics in the fact that everyone see you as that crazy person who flies through the air.
What are the goals for the upcoming weeks and the state meet?
Obviously, I would like to break the state record however I go into each meet with the idea I will do the best I can and that is what is meant to be.
What are your plans for next year?
I plan to attend the University of Maine in Orono. I am not sure what my major will be yet but I know I do want to help people in some way.
Finish this sentence ... Taylor Lenentine is...
Taylor Lenentine is committed, persistent and passionate about life. She is team oriented and surrounds herself with positive people. She is willing to take time out of her everyday life to help those around her in any situation. Taylor Lenentine knows that not everyday is perfect and can step back and laugh about whatever may be happening regardless of the situation.
What is the most surprising thing about you?
Surprisingly, I am a pretty shy person around new people and I am not a huge fan of a lot of attention on myself.
Describe a perfect day in the life of Taylor Lenentine?
A perfect day would be spending time with the people I love. Relaxing on a warm day with a lot of laughter.
Pre-race pump-up song:
Don't really have one. I take that time to pray to God for the strength I need.
Guilty pleasure meal:
I LOVE ANY TYPE OF POTATOES! French fries, twice baked , chips, mashed, bakes, sweet potato salad, hash browns, potato salad, potato soup and so on...
I don't really have a favorite movie because I don't enjoy sitting for long periods of time however my favorite show would be Full House. I own all the seasons
If you could have dinner with any 3 people, living or dead, who would they be and why?
This past year has been very rough with the loss of a close teammate and If I could I would love to have dinner with Cassidy Charette one last time to see what she would like the world to be. She was such a giving, sweet, kind person, who I strive to be more like everyday. I would also love to see my grandparents who I have lost and taught me a lot in life. When I was younger I did not realize how much they did for me and I would love to be able to thank them.