Kim Kramers keeps flying higher.
The Inglemoor High senior pole vaulter feels she has displayed resilience and perseverance during her short and majorly productive time spent on the event. It’s been a little over a year since she gripped the pole in her hands and went for it.
Kramers put in a ton of work in the summer and was bent on clearing 12 feet this season.
She’s beyond that now after notching a personal best 12-3 at the Shoreline Invitational on April 28. She won the event in the first year girls have vaulted at the invite.
The Viking vaulted to 12-0 to win the recent league meet.
Overall, with her 12-3, Kramers currently stands in second in 4A KingCo and second in the 4A state rankings, and she’s locked into fifth in the state rankings among all classifications. West Seattle’s Chloe Cunliffe is tops overall state-wise at 13-3 and Eastlake’s Ellie Talius is tops in 4A KingCo and 4A state at 13-1.
“My teammates are my main motivators. I practice with the top two vaulters in the state, and every day I push myself to be as good as them and I also learn a lot about vaulting techniques from them,” said Kramers, adding that it’s crazy to know she’s among the top vaulters in the state.
Kramers, who recently signed her letter of intent to compete at the University of Washington next season, said she’ll need to display endurance, a clear mind and be focused to continue her successful journey in the postseason this month. She also plans on moving up to longer and heavier poles to help her notch even loftier marks.
When vaulters put all the small details of a jump together and ultimately clear the bar, it’s a rewarding feeling, Kramers said.
“Of course, it is also the flying feeling because if you do everything correctly, the pole can ‘sling shot’ you off of it,” she said. “It is definitely a thrilling sport to not only watch but to do.”
Along with the thrills, there can be chills as well.
“There is definitely a mental factor in pole vault. Vaulters must be very strong minded and confident in their coaches and themselves because in unpleasant conditions, such as rainy or windy days, pole vaulting can be very dangerous,” Kramers said.
Kramers has always been a high-flyer, first in the gymnastics realm and then in the pole vault world. The former level 9 competitor was headed for level 10, but decided to leave the club gymnastics environment. Wanting to keep busy her junior year, she added track and field to her Inglemoor sports arsenal along with varsity soccer and varsity gymnastics.
“I chose to pole vault because it seemed fun and I heard that gymnasts were really good vaulters because of their air awareness and upper body strength, so I took a gamble and tried pole vault,” she said.
With that choice, Kramers has become part of a large pole vault family.
“I pretty much know every pole vaulter in the KingCo and Metro districts and all the coaches as well, therefore, competitions are less stressful because we are all friends and we all support and cheer on one another,” she said.