Hannah Grosse’s specialty in track and field is flying more than eleven feet high through the air. It might sound daunting, but the MIAC indoor pole-vaulting champion has one big key to success: just keep it simple. “It’s easy to overthink pole-vaulting, but you just have to let go of everything in your head,” says Grosse ’22 (Coon Rapids, Minn.). “I always did my best when I was most relaxed, when it felt like practice, so I just tried to emulate practices where you just show up after your regular day and vault.”

The biology major leaned on that approach throughout a college career shaped by injury, illness, and COVID cancellations. This winter, she broke through those challenges by setting the indoor school record of 3.46 meters in January, then winning the MIAC title in February for the first time in Mac program history. This spring, Grosse set the outdoor school record by clearing 3.60 meters (that’s 11 feet, 9.75 inches) and was named the Doug Bolstorff M Club Women’s Sport Student-Athlete of the Year.

She credits pole-vaulting coach Alex Wise ’07 with helping her develop the mindset that brought her success—and giving her the idea to pay it forward by guiding other athletes in their own careers. “His coaching has made a huge difference,” says Grosse, who is talking with other alumni about how she can stay involved in the sport. “I want to be able to give that to other people.”

July 18 2022

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