Sophomore soaring to new heights in C-I record books

Char Morke easily clears the school-record 11 feet mark and proceeds to then clear 11’3” and 11’6” during a track meet on Monday, May 21. Those jumps now puts the sophomore in position to contend for a state berth in the event during the Section 7AA meet.

If CIHS athlete Char Morke keeps going at this pace, reporting about her breaking school records will sound like, well, a broken record.

In January, Morke broke a long-standing school gymnastics all-around record. Move ahead to the spring sports season and the talented sophomore is at it again, this time breaking a 15-year-old school record in the pole vault.

Morke accomplished the feat during a home triangular meet on Monday, May 22. In doing so, not only did she clear the previous record of 11 feet even, but proceeded to clear the next two heights of 11’3” and 11’6”, on her first attempt at both heights to boot.

“It still hasn’t quite hit me that I’ve broken another record,” Morke said. “It just feels like I got a personal record and not a school record.”

While the gymnastics record came as no surprise to anyone familiar with Morke, it could be fair to say the pole vault record was a bit of a surprise, at least from the perspective of how quickly she eclipsed it. Morke is still relatively new to the event, only having taken up track a year ago. Additionally, up to that meet, Morke had consistently been clearing a maximum height a good two feet shorter than the record.

“The week before the meet my coach had me practicing on some larger poles that propelled me higher than the poles I had used in the past,” said Morke, explaining her rapid ascension to the record books. “And my pole vault coach Stacy Nelson has helped me a lot with my technique,” she added.

Coach Nelson, however, is quick to hand credit right back to her athlete. “Char has a ton of raw talent,” Nelson said. “She has great body awareness, but she knows talent only gets you so far.  She knows how to work hard.”

The accelerated improvement has also meant that Morke has accelerated her goals as the sophomore now finds herself in the middle of a loaded contingent of athletes for the section crown. “I’ve always had a goal to go to state for pole vault, but I definitely didn’t think it would happen this year,” admitted Morke. “Right now my goal is to match my personal record at sections so that I can qualify for state.”

Another of Morke’s reasons for being able to break the record bodes well for her to accomplish this “new” goal. “Being able to vault at home is always a good thing because you’re more familiar with everything because you practice there everyday,” she said. Conveniently for her, Cambridge-Isanti is hosting this year’s Section 7AA meet on Wednesday, May 31, and Saturday, June 3. Girls pole vault will be contested on Saturday.

According to her coach, the new record is well-earned. “We couldn’t be happier as a team for Char,” said girls head coach Michael Galligan. “She has worked very hard for this while also remaining humble. She is a teammate that works for and cares about the whole squad. Char displays all the characteristics of a true leader.”

“It definitely wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t have God with me every step of the way. I give all the glory to Him,” said Morke, proving her coach’s assessment. “And I am so grateful for all of my coaches, teammates, friends and many others. I couldn’t have done it without their support.”

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