Before Tivy senior Cameron Poole could sign her letter of intent, athletic director David Jones interrupted Monday’s ceremony at Tivy High School to share a brief story.
He still remembers when Poole was in seventh grade, first learning how to pole vault. She was always enthusiastic to learn, even when she initially struggled to master the sport. She’s definitely improved since that time, turning into a medal-winning pole vaulter and qualifying for the regional meet in the last three seasons.
“She epitomizes TFND,” Jones told the assembled crowd at the ceremony.
Poole will carry that TFND spirit to college. On Monday, she signed her LOI to pole vault at Angelo State in front of family, friends and coaches.
“I definitely attribute all this to my coaches and them being there for me and supporting me through everything,” Poole said afterwards. “They never said, ‘Oh, we got to cut practice short today. I need to go home and do something.’ They are there for as long as I need them to be there. They are always ensuring that I’m going to be successful down the road, encouraging me to work my hardest and to help me know that when I work my hardest — it’s definitely going to pay off.”
Those coaches were in attendance on Monday to offer their congratulations. Her pole vault coach, Kevin Pope, rocked his Angelo State shirt to celebrate the occasion. Track and Field coach Jason
Crawford interrupted her interview to give her a quick embrace.
And of course, Jones began the signing ceremony with a speech that praised her work ethic.
For Poole, Angelo State is an ideal match for several reasons. The possibility of pole vaulting in college first crossed her mind during her freshman year, when she watched Pope’s daughter, Kelby Pope, pole vault at Angelo State.
“Wow, I could do that,” Poole thought to herself. “That could be me.”
There were factors for her decision. Her first pole vaulting coach, Mike Marler, recently moved to San Angelo, meaning she would have an opportunity to reunite with a former coach. Plus, Angelo State has a strong animal science program, her intended major.
So, she met with the school’s track coaches in February. That’s when she officially decided she wanted to pole vault at the college level.
“It speaks volumes for her,” Pope said. “If there was a poster child here for hard work and perseverance, it’s that kid. … She’s going to be a good fit for them. I know they will do a great job with her. I think’s a perfect fit all the way around.”