NEW YORK — When Catherine Rozalski competes in the pole vault, she never watches her competitors jump.
“I want to concentrate on what I’m doing and not get caught up in how everyone else is doing,” the Queen of Peace senior said. “I’ll sit there watching races on the track or reading or listening to the music on the public address system [at the Armory], but I don’t watch other people vault.”
Of course, when it’s a large meet as it was Tuesday at the Track Universe Invitational at Armory Track Center, she can wait a long time before she makes her first attempt.
Nearly two hours had passed and only one other vaulter was left Tuesday when Rozalski entered the competition at 10 feet 6 inches, 3 feet higher than the opening height.
Rozalski cleared the bar on her second try, winning the event barely 10 minutes after she started vaulting. Then she cleared 11-3, the second-best indoor clearance of her career. An indoor best of 11-9 would be next, then an assault on the indoor Bergen mark of 12-3 set by Kayla Polcari of Ridgewood in 2011. But it wasn’t to be.
“I got on the biggest pole I have,” said Rozalski, who couldn’t get airborne on her three tries at 11-9. “I was trying some new things to improve my chances of clearing the height, but I guess during a competition wasn’t the best time to do that.”
“I just love doing this, especially at the Armory,” said Rozalski, who lists Wake Forest, Dartmouth, Northeastern and Fordham as possible college destinations next year. “I never get bored of this.”