Rachel Homoly may only be a sophomore preparing for her first official outdoor season, but she's already been vaulting Missouri to new heights indoors.
Already having cleared 13 feet and setting the national freshman indoor record last year, Homoly cleared a new personal best. She cleared the Missouri all-time pole vault record with a leap of 13-4.5. Officially Missouri doesn't have indoor, but if it did she would have that record twice now.
That vault though wasn't just a big number for Missouri though. 13-4.5 currently sits as the second highest indoor vault ever by a sophomore in the United States, and would be tied for the seventh best vault in the nation so far this season.
"I feel proud to be able to represent my sport in Missouri. Now its time to show some of the other states what MO is all about," Homoly responded when asked how this accomplishment felt. "The club I jump with keeps a white board that has all the best jumps from Missouri vaulters. Everytime I go into practice I have to walk by it and see those marks. Back in 7th grade I thought there was no way I could jump in the 13's. It just looked so high to me. The best part is that I still have 3 more outdoor school seasons to keep raising the bar even higher!"
With COVID having changed how we live a lot of our lives, and it's been a challenge for her as well, "Everything has been very different and a lot more unpredictable due to COVID," she said, "I didn't get an outdoor school season last year which was really disappointing. I ended the 2020 indoor season with a 13' jump, right before everything was shut down. So unfortunately I couldn't take that momentum into jumping for my school as a freshman. Thankfully, there were a few clubs that held meets over the summer so I still could compete. My pole vault club has stayed open this indoor season, and other than learning how to jump with a mask on, I've been able to train like normal the past few months."
She has a few more indoor meets for spring and is looking to tie the sophomore national record of 13-6 at one of them "As of now it looks like I will have 2-3 more indoor meets. I will wrap the indoor season up either at the AAU Elite HS Indoor Championships in Virginia, or the NSFA HS Indoor Championships in NY. I also just saw a post from MileSplit that there will be an Adidas Indoor Championship. My goal going into this indoor season was to jump 13-6 at a meet. Hopefully I can make that happen."
With outdoor on the horizon, I asked her what she was looking to accomplish in her first official outdoor season, "This season I'm trying to focus on staying true to the form we work on in practice, instead of getting caught up in the results," Homoly started, "My dad and I always discuss what we are trying to accomplish each meet. We have made a list of how each meet should go. 1. Have fun. 2. Stay true to form. 3. Make more bars then anyone else (win). 4. Set a PR. 5. Break a record. Doing this helps me stay focused on what's important, big bars are going to come, it is just a matter of time. I'm also really looking forward to being able to vault for my school, Liberty HS, and be part of a team. With that being said, I would really like to officially break my school record as well as the state record. Number wise, getting up to the high 13's and possibly 14' this year would be really fun."
No doubt Homoly is the next big name amongst Missouri pole vaulters, a group that has seen many records fall recently thanks to KC Lightfoot (Lee's Summit) who is currently tied for the world lead, and multi-time NCAA Champion Chris Nilsen (Park Hill).