5 feet nothing equals 14 feet something for Desiree Freier

She may stand only 5 feet tall, but Justin Northwest High School (Dallas, Texas) senior Desiree Freier really knows how to extend out her height to achieve great feats. No feat greater than setting the United States high school girls indoor pole vault record at the New Balance Nationals two weeks ago with a clearance over 14'2.75" at the Armory in New York City. With a national leading 14 foot clearance already in the first weeks of the outdoor season, Freier prepares for the Texas Relays this weekend in Austin which she will not only be attempting to earn her first victory at the track & field mecca event for one of the country's best states in the sport, but the University of Arkansas recruit would like to add the outdoor national record in the event as well over the weekend. MileSplit US interviewed the small but powerful and gifted vaulter Freier as she aims to become the all-time great prep vaulter in outdoor as she recently garnered that title in indoor.




MileSplit US interview with Justin Northwest High School (TX) senior vaulter Desiree Freier

MileSplit US: Congratulations on setting the national record in the pole vault at the indoor nationals. What went right for you that day in the Armory in order for you to clear the record height?
Desiree Freier: I just stayed focused the whole time and I had my head dead set on the national record.
MileSplit US: What has been the best thing or moment that you have enjoyed since the national record breaking performance?
Freier: Well I received a tweet from Mary Saxer herself and she basically told me congrats and that she looks forward to competing with me one day.
MileSplit US: Did not take too long to transition to the outdoor season in Texas with a 14 foot clearance last week. Do you feel sharper for this spring season having competed in a few meets over the week?
Freier: I feel very much prepared for the outdoor season.
MileSplit US: The 14 foot clearance this past weekend is now your 3rd time over the height. Do you feel that 14 feet is now something that will be more of a regular occurrence and what has been difference from being a 13 foot vaulter to 14 foot vaulter?
Freier: Yes. I feel that now I have gotten over that bar that it will just be a regular occurrence and the only difference is I can actually see my vault when I'm jumping. Its not as quick as it used to be because now it takes little more time to get over 14 feet than it did at 13 feet.
MileSplit US: How did you first get into pole vaulting?
Freier: My stepdad (George Rodriguez) owns a pole vault facility called Texas Pole Vault and I found it so cool to see people flying in the air. 
MileSplit US: As a freshmen, you were a Texas 5A state runner-up at 12'3". How did you feel coming out of that competition. Hungry and disappointed that you didn't win or more excited and pleased that you placed that well in your first state meet?
Freier: I was pretty excited that I placed my freshman year and got second at that. I think all my jitters got out of me that meet and I knew I was prepared for anything after that meet.
MileSplit US: You come from a family of vaulters as well as your stepfather and brothers have been your coaches with your as your stepdad heads up a well known vault club in Texas. What influence and impact have they made on you?
Freier: Well they motivate me and push me to do my best and never to settle for anything other than my very best.

MileSplit US: You got your first real national meet exposure last year with a 3rd place finish at the New Balance Indoor Nationals. What did you gain from one of those first experiences competing against the best in the country?
Freier: I was thrilled to go and to be able to compete with the best of the best.
MileSplit US: Last summer, you qualified to represent the United States at the World Youth Championships in Ukraine. What was your biggest takeaways from that trip and meet?
Freier: My biggest takeaway is that no matter what, you have to be mentally prepared especially when you don't have your normal coach and you on a plane for hours.You just have to keep going forward and I did the best that I could.
MileSplit US: You only stand 5 feet tall, but obviously thrive in an event that requires to reach great heights. What do you think have been your strengths as well as physical attributes to have allowed to be so successful in the event?
Freier: My strengths in vaulting is my speed and strength because I'm very fast and strong.
MileSplit US: What is a typical week of training like for you?
Freier: I do a lot of sprint mechanics and drills then of course I try to work on small things in my vault to make my vault just that much cleaner.
MileSplit US: You signed with the University of Arkansas earlier in the year. What made you decide on the Razorbacks?
Freier: Well I was choosing between either UT or Arkansas and I absolutely loved both schools, but what made me pick Arkansas over UT is that I just felt more at home there and I love the vaulters there and Coach Compton. I just felt that it was a better fit for me then UT.
MileSplit US: Hard to believe but you have never won at the Texas Relays. What would a win in Austin this weekend mean to among your growing list of achievements?
Freier: It would be awesome to win at the Texas Relays. I have never quite won it because the best of the best were always one step ahead of me such as last year with Annie Rhodes and Lakan Taylor.
MileSplit US:  The national record outdoor record of 14'2.75" is also dangling out there for you to get. How confident do you feel about your chances of taking down that record this spring?
Freier: The outdoor national record is tied with my PR. I just have to jump a quarter of a inch high to break it and that what my mind is set on. Both going to the relays and trying to win and set the outdoor national record at the same time.

Video: Freier 14'0" at Jesuit-Sheaner Relays


Video: Freier 14'0" at Millrose Games


Video: Freier 13'7" at Arkansas High School Invite