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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Record breaker

Sophomore beat her school record
MW Girls Track and Field
Standing high at the top of the podium after winning Districts, sophomore McKenna Kleppinger is named district champ and punches her ticket to the state tournament. She would end up beating her own school record jumping 11’6”. “One of my big goals this season is to place individually at state this year and my senior year as well,” Kleppinger said. “Additionally, I hope for our team to be in the top two at state this year.”

Pole Vault is a sport unknown to many but one amazing athlete at Millard West is counting to break and set the bar higher and higher. Sophomore McKenna Kleppinger who started off her career doing gymnastics decided to make the transition to pole vaulting when she entered high school and has proved that she made the right decision. 

“We hoped she would choose something that would get her involved at Millard West so we suggested diving or pole vault as those are common sports for gymnasts to move onto,” Kleppinger said. “She opted to give pole vault a try as she wasn’t too excited to go headfirst into the water.”

Kleppinger got started right away with a coach and she started training the summer before her freshman year. Being way behind other students who started in middle school or younger she had to work extra hard to catch up. Her hard work however would pay off when midway through her sophomore year she would break the school record of 10’6” by an inch. But she wasn’t done.

“I’ve been working at this for a long time and it was important to me to break the school record because it showed that all my hard work has been paying off,” Kleppinger said. “I always go into meets with a positive attitude and always strive to improve my past heights.”

She would continue to train and get better looking to compete for a state championship. Her first big test would be district, where she would break her earlier record with an 11’0” jump securing her second place in the Metro Conference Championship. A little over a week later it would be time for districts which would give her not only another chance to break her record but also qualify for the state championship. When the moment got the biggest she continued to succeed this time jumping 11’6” beating her state record again, winning districts, and punching her ticket to the state tournament.

“McKenna is incredibly driven and competitive,” junior teammate Chole Lazure said. “It was exciting to see her achieve something she had her eyes set on since the season started in March.”

From vaulting as a gymnast to vaulting as a track and field athlete, Kleppinger has created new standards for other Millard West athletes. Kleppinger has continued to raise her record and raise the bar time and time again. The goal for her is to beat her name in the state record books by winning state and beating the state pole vaulting record of 13’4”.

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About the Contributor
Nathan Delaney
Nathan Delaney, Staff Reporter
Nathan is a senior at Millard West and this is his second year on the CATalyst staff. He is taking Advanced Journalism, Broadcast Journalism and Yearbook this year. This summer he went to multiple journalism camps and went on a family vacation to Alaska. He also worked with the President of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, Jim Timm, on the High School Radio Project. He is looking forward to expanding to new parts of journalism and furthering his skills this year.

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