Masucci seeks to vault new heights


provided by Kristen Masucci

With a personal record of 11'9", Masucci set the school record just before spraining her ankle.

Kasey Harvey, Sports Editor

Tasked with being the entire girls’ pole vaulting team, junior Kristen Masucci is ready for the Frisco ISD Invitational Thursday at Memorial Stadium. Bouncing back from a sprained ankle, Masucci is ready to compete again.

“It was really hard [being out],” Masucci said. “I watched a lot of videos in my time off and just worked on drills to just stay in shape. It’s been really hard mentally. I’m hoping to get back to where I was.”

Just before Masucci sprained her ankle, she vaulted a height of 11’9”, a personal record and school record. But that’s not enough. Masucci wants to go higher.

“It’s kind of been a struggle but I’ve been going to more practices and I’m hoping to jump 12 feet soon,” Masucci said. “I’ve just been icing it a lot and trying not to overdo it before districts.”

In the past two years, Masucci has discovered a new passion after 11 years in gymnastics. With her gymnastic ability and personal attributes, she stands out from the crowd.

“Because it’s a unique field event, it shows her self determination and drive to do her field event on her own,” sophomore Katie Gray said. “I know that she’s been breaking records consistently and I know she can keep that up for the future.”

Masucci hopes to Texas A&M on an athletic scholarship for pole vaulting. Wanting to present her best self to colleges, she has been waiting till she reaches her new goal of 12’0” before involving herself in the whirlwind of college recruitment.

“Kristen is a very strong willed young women,” head track coach Amanda Zambiasi said. “She doesn’t voice a lot of her concerns. She internalizes a lot of it. I know she’s been working through a lot of that excitement for the school record and frustration with an injury and now just the incline back to where she was. On the coaching side, the biggest thing is just trying to support her.”

Being the only pole vaulter on the team, there is no Redhawks coach specializing in the endeavor, leading Masucci to practice mainly with her club team, Texas Express.

“It helps a lot especially since I don’t have a coach at school,” Masucci said. “If I just pole vaulted for school, I probably wouldn’t do as well. I’m able to go there and they’re able to give me a lot of tips. That’s the only reason I’m able to do well is because of them.”

Masucci is eager to get back at full strength but her mom thinks the injury may be a silver lining.

“I think it’s been a learning experience for her because she was kind of at a high point before the injury,” mom Lori Masucci said. “Just have to deal with the mental and physical process when she’s feeling so great and have to deal with that makes her stronger and hopefully that will make her better in the end.”