Southern pole vaulter continues to soar


Bobby Martinez – Sports Writer 

A senior All-American in pole vault both, indoors and outdoors, Michelle Grecni has made a name for herself as one of the country’s top pole vaulted in all of D-II track and field.

“I did pole my whole track and field career,” said Grecni. “ It started my freshman year when I was playing basketball and the track and field coach told me to come to one of their practices and ever since, I fell in love with it.”

Grecni wasn’t recruited out of Danbury High School, but chose Southern because she fell in love with the school where she is currently majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry. But while in high school, she helped her team win numerous state championships.

In her first year at Southern, she ended the season as a NCAA qualifier in pole vault and was named Northeast-10 Conference Freshman of the Year and also was selected to the Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

As a sophomore, according to the Southern Connecticut State University’s athletic department website, Grecni won the Metropolitan Outdoor Championships title as well in the pole vault after a mark of 3.72 meter. She also finished first in the pole vault with an ending height of 11 feet, 8.5 inches at the 2013 Yale Springtime Invitational. Grecni also took first place in the pole vault with a height of 12 feet and 5.5 inches at the Yale Collegiate Invitational.

As a junior, she was the NCAA runner up in pole vault indoors and was an All-American representative for the both, indoors and outdoors pole vault. Grecni also captured the New England champion in the outdoor pole vault. Grecni also placed first in the pole vault with a 3.75 at the Ramapo College Invite and also scored first in the pole vault with a 3.85 and fourth in the distance medley relay with a time of 12:42.77 at the Metropolitan Indoor Track and Field Championship.

Grecni said her time here at Southern has been very good in all her years. She said each day she learns more and more and is becoming a much better athlete at time goes on.

Grecni credits a lot of her success to head coach John Wallin. She said he has helped her each event whether it’s mentally preparing and physically preparing for each competition.

“Coach Wallin,” said Grecni, “pays close attention to individual times and also helps us understand each competition. He really helps me out a lot.”

Through all her achievements here at Southern, Grecni said she has learned so much throughout her time here and tries to help the underclassmen as much as possible.”

“One thing I try and teach the freshman,” she said, “is that, my knowledge comes from experience. In order to get better in this sport, you have to go out and do it. Regardless of the result, everything is a learning experience.”

Grecni added, “One thing I’ve learned before each competition is to have a calm mentality heading into competition.”

Recently, Grecni was named  Co-ECAC Women’s Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week. During the team’s recent competition at the Dartmouth Relays in which the team places second out of 27 teams, Grecni cleared a height of 3.86 meters to win the pole vault competition. Her height of 3.86 meters currently is tops of all D-II.

Outside of pole vaulting, Grecni enjoys playing the drums and guitar.

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