Southern pole vaulter named NE-10 Women’s Field Athlete of the Year
Bobby Martinez – Sports Writer
Owls track and field pole vaulter, Michelle Grecni, was named Northeast-10 Conference Women’s Field Athlete of the Year, just one of numerous accomplishments she has managed to achieve throughout her stellar career at Southern.
“It’s a huge honor to be named athlete of the year,” said Grecni. “It just means that all the effort and success I have achieved over the years, has been recognized. And that people see the potential in me to receive this award and hopefully live up to their expectations.”
It was another successful year for Grecni as she managed to break her own pole vault NCAA qualifying mark of 4.10 meters at the New England Championship. Taking a look back to her first three years as an Owl, Grecni has achieved and reached heights that no pole vaulter in Southern history has.
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 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.
As for her senior campaign, Grecni was NCAA qualifier. She was also named United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association [USTFCCCA] Regional Field Athlete of the Year. In addition, Grecni captured the Northeast-10 Champion in the pole vault and was the New England Champion in pole vaulting as well.
Despite those accomplishments, Grecni said there’s a lot of room for improvement and it all starts with having the right focus because she does want to continue pole vaulting after she graduates.
“I think I can work on my focus and dedication a little bit more,” she said. “ Everything I do is pretty much revolved around my performance, from what I eat, how much sleep I get and how that is going to impact my workout for the next day.”
Grecni added, “So I want to continue to build up on those routines and those habits. Mainly train my mind at this point because my body is to a point where it’s going to be at its highest performance. But my mind is one of the hardest things to master. So if I can keep focus, I can see a lot of success in my future.”
With graduation just a few months away and outdoor track and field slowly approaching, Grecni said she is working as hard as she can in order to possibly build her career as a pole vaulter.
“I want it to be my career,” said Grecni. “It’s everything I love. My goal is to finish up undergraduate school, I have two summer classes I need to take. Then by the end of the summer, find a coach in California and move out there and train as hard as I can. The Olympics are going to be in my future someday and I know that.”
She added, “So I’m just taking it one step at a time, but that is the ultimate goal.”