Erin Sievers makes her mark

Evan Laux, SPORTS EDITOR FOR THE COLLEGIAN

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“She wants to win at everything,” pole vault head coach Dennis Steele said. “If we’re lifting weights, she wants to lift the heaviest. If we’re doing a conditioning workout, she wants to finish first.”

Freshman pole vaulter Erin Sievers is a newcomer on the Ashland University track and field team, but she’s already making her mark on the Division II landscape.

In her first meet of the season, Sievers tied for second in her event at the Findlay Oiler Opener on Dec. 7, 2019. This initial placement would give Sievers a provisional mark for the NCAA Division II Indoor National Championship, beginning on March 13 in Birmingham, Ala.

So far, the AU men’s and women’s track teams have amassed a combined total of 21 provisional and six automatic qualifying marks for the championship.

“This season I really want to get 13’,” Sievers said. “The mark to go to nationals automatically is just under 13’ 2” (4.01 meters) so that would be the dream. That’s the dream.”

Sievers’ provisional mark of 12’ 6.75” is just slightly higher than her highschool personal record of 12’ 6’’, a mark that carried her far in the event.

While at highschool in Strongsville, Ohio, Sievers destroyed the competition meet after meet.
“During my junior year, I actually never lost an event,” Sievers said. “Every single meet I competed in, I got first place.”

In fact, Sievers won the Ohio Highschool State Athletic Association state tournament both her junior and senior year as a Strongsville Mustang.

“I never intended on doing pole vault until my dad suggested doing it my freshman year,” Sievers said. “He figured my gymnastics background would help with it and I’ve been hooked ever since.”

Siever’s attributes much of her success to the Eagle team as a whole and getting her foot in the door early.

“I had gone to the Ashland track camps since I think my sophomore year,” Sievers said. “I’ve known the team for a while now and I’ve known my coach for awhile which helped a lot with the transition from highschool level to college level.”
According to Steele, Sievers’ talents were recognized early on.
“When I first met her, it was obvious that she had a special takeoff,” Steele said. “It’s very different from normal collegiate athletes. She’s not as tall as your average vaulter, but she has Division I women’s elite speed.”

Steele compares Sievers to Ashland alum Katie Nageotte, who took first place in both the indoor and outdoor 2013 Division II National Championships. Nageotte is also a two-time USA Indoor National Champion.

“She really just has a great drive,” Steele said. “She’s got another three years ahead of her and I don’t doubt she’s going to keep developing and getting better.”

Both Eagle teams will hit the track next on Feb. 7 at the Akron invitationals.

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