Arizona Track & Field Journals: Shaylah Simpson - Intro

  Milesplit Arizona Track & Field Journals


Shaylah Simpson (Sr., Desert Vista) is Arizona's all time top Pole Vaulter and as of last week she was ranked 3rd in the US for indoors.  As a freshman Shaylah finished 3rd in the Pole Vault with a jump of 11-6 and became the Arizona State Champion her junior year finishing the night with a personal best of 12-9.75.  Shaylah also has an older sister, Laryssa (2006), who pole vaults for the University of Utah.  


Shaylah started her track career at 8 years old competing in the 100, 200, 400, 4x100 relay teams and the long jump.  She could not compete in the high jump or the pole vault until the age of 11 but she always watched the pole vault with anxious anticipation.  "It looked like fun running with a pole and landing on a mat," Shaylah recalls.  She attended a Pole VAult Camp run by Coach Jeff Guy and the rest they say is History!


Shaylah will be sharing her journey through her final high school track and field season.  Keep checking back to see what is next for Shaylah Simpson.


Shaylah Simpson

(Sr., Desert Vista)


Journal Entry #1 (March 24, 2010)


So this spring break has been nothing less that crazy! I packed up my bags last Wednesday night and headed out to Boston for the Nike Indoor National meet. I don’t think I have ever appreciated Arizona as much as I did in those 5 days I was there. I saw sunlight for about an hour and a half the whole time I was there..........maybe! The rest of the time it was pouring rain, and I don’t mean stop and go rain like it is here, I mean constant rain pouring down from the sky for 4 days straight. I have had enough rain for the rest of the year.


  I jumped on Sunday afternoon around 1 o’clock along with my other two teammates; Courtney Reginato and Emily Hiesler. We also had one other girl there who jumped at 10 in the morning, and that was Kylie Harmon. It was definitely unusual to have 4 female vaulters all from the same school there! Unusual in a good way of course. It was my second time there a first for the other three girls. Everyone was so excited to be there! The night before the meet was just like any other night. I actually went out for a lobster dinner, for my 18th birthday, at Anthony’s Pier 4 with my dad and some of his family that live in Massachusetts. It was nice to see them since we hardly ever get to, and the lobster was amazing! Once we got back to the hotel it was hard to fall asleep, and not because of my pre-meet jitters, but because of all the rain hitting the window! So I had to sleep a little longer than planned in the morning to make up for it.


Once we got to the meet there was already a lot going on. We were able to watch the tail end of the 10 o’clock girls vault group, then we went to warm up. I felt very relaxed that day and treated it as any other meet. I was not worried about place or height, all I wanted to focus on was technique. I just saw this meet as another opportunity to improve my vaulting! That mentality obviously got me very far because I jumped 13’2.25 setting a new Arizona state record! After I made that vault I was ecstatic. I felt like I could hardly even breath my heart was pumping so fast! And after my attempts at 13’6 I was even more excited because I had some great jumps at that height.


(Photo right:  Shaylah jumping 13-2.25 at the Nike Indoor Nationals)


The entire Boston trip was amazing and I was extremely pleased to erase my Queen Creek performance from my head and replace it with this one. I think what helped me in this meet was that I was not focused on going out there that day to set the new state record. I wanted to see improvement in my vaulting technique. I still am not trying to go out there and break my own record again. Of course I want to jump high, but if that is solely what I think about, I will go crazy and be disappointed with every meet I don’t set a new personal best at. I am learning to be patient with my vaulting, because the only thing that will get me to make higher bars is having better technique. So THAT is what I am focusing on.


Now Chandler Rotary is a few days away, and boy am I excited! I am still debating if I should have a lobster dinner Friday night, just for good luck J.