Sandi Morris hugs Katie Nageotte, March 19, 2022, World Indoor Championships, Pole Vault, Belgrade, Serbia, photo by Star Gazer Pix, via Peacock TV
The women’s pole vault was one of the most exciting events of the second day. Come to think of it, all of the finals on Day 2 were exciting. Stuart Weir wrote this piece on Sandi Morris and Katie Nageotte, two athletes he has interviewed on several occasions. They went 1 and 2.
There were 11 ladies in the straight-to-final women’s pole-vault competition. We lost one competitor at 4.45, four at 4.60, and further three at 4.70. Katie Nageotte, Sandi Morris, and Tina Surej went clear at 4.75 with their first attempt. 4:80 proved more of a challenge. Surej failed in three attempts as did Katie Nageotte, ending her perfect sequence – both desperately close to making it. Sandi Morris cleared with her third attempt to win.
It has been an interesting period for both the American ladies. In 2018 Morris won the World Indoor title in Birmingham with Nageotte in the competition, at that time, not quite Morris’ equal. How Katie Nageotte has developed in the past four years! She won the Olympic title in Tokyo with Morris getting injured and not making the final. Then Morris decided to uproot and move to Atlanta to work with coach Brad Walker alongside Nageotte.
Katie Nageotte has also been open about her struggles to be fully motivated since achieving her dream of winning the Olympics. Now as the two friends push each other every day, the sky is almost literally the limit.
Nageotte commented afterward: “It is awesome, I am really happy for Sandi and for me too. Obviously, I always want to win but I have had a really rough indoor season – just mentally and emotionally. So this is great and I am so happy and excited we both come out with a medal today. Sandi is an awesome training partner, she is also a really nice person. We are all competitors and want to show our best performances, when we enter the stadium, we push each other”.
Morris spoke in a similar vein: “It’s really amazing. Being at this level for so many years is so difficult to do. Just going out there. Focusing one jump at a time was my goal today, one bar at a time, brick by brick. To be able to take that title really means so much to me. After a year like last year when I was injured for the Olympics, you feel you have to re-prove yourself. We’re so hard on ourselves and I wanted to go out and prove it to myself that I could still do it at this level. Today was about me fighting off my own internal demons. Doing it back to back was amazing and doing it with my teammate and now training partner Katie was really special. It gives me goosebumps thinking about it. We’re going to go back and forth for the next few years. It’s going to be so much fun. I was disappointed I didn’t have 4.90m in me today. I went for it but my energy wasn’t thereafter I knew I’d won”
See my previous articles on Katie Nageotte