It usually doesn’t rain in Southern California, but on a cold Tuesday morning, it did.
But even the downpour could not keep senior pole vaulter Allison Koressel and the UCLA women’s pole vault team from Drake Stadium, as they continued to run drills in the harsh rain and chilly winds in preparation for the upcoming Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championships.
“We know we have to do well this weekend, so we have to do whatever we can to be ready (today). And that’s what we have to do during the week, rain or shine,” Koressel said.
Pole vault coach Anthony Curran chose to instead focus on the positive takeaways of training in the rain this week.
“Training in this rain puts you in a better mental state. You feel like you’re tougher, like nothing’s going to stop you from training hard,” Curran said. ”I think all the athletes will come out and have a good work out (Tuesday).”
The Bruins will travel to the University of Washington for the MPSF championships, which take place today and Saturday. The team will face off against nine other Pac-12 schools along with various schools from the Big West and West Coast Conferences.
“We look at the MPSF championships as a Pac-12 championships where we can show our stuff,” Curran said. “The vaulters have always done really well in this competition.”
Junior pole vaulter Courtney Reginato feels that the prospect of besting their Pac-12 division rivals could help bring out the best of the Bruins.
“It’s always about trying to do your best, but there are a lot of competitive people in the Pac-12, and I think it does give you that extra little boost and drive to do better,” Reginato said.
For one vaulter, the MPSF championships are also a chance for redemption.
“(Junior pole vaulter) Natasha Kolbo had a sprained ankle in Fresno, so she came out and had a no-height. But she’s going to be coming back with a vengeance and sometimes that’s what you need: A week off where you don’t get to do well, so you can come back really well and do it the next week,” Curran said.
Curran has high hopes for this team, and believes that everything is in place for this lineup to have a successful run in Seattle.
“I feel really excited to see the girls compete as a team of four who can jump over 13 feet and get in the scoring positions. And that’s going to be great,” Curran said. “The pressure is not on any one of us because we have such a strong team.”