The best female high school pole vaulter ever in the state of Michigan has signed a letter of intent to jump for Michigan State University. Senior Sarah Birkmeier has set every record imaginable in her three years at Rockford High School. Among her accomplishments are: School Record 13’, Conference Record 12’1”, Grand Rapids Area Record 13’, MITCA Team State Record 11’11”, Indoor State Record 12’8”, MHSAA Division 1 State Record 13’, and All Time State of Michigan Record of 13’ Sarah was the first female high school vaulter in the State of Michigan to jump 13’ when she won the MHSAA Division 1 Title in 2009. She is a two time returning State Champion, after winning the title in 2008. Sarah looks forward to her time at MSU. “I am extremely excited. I loved the team and can’t wait to get started.” Rockford pole vault coach Kevin Patterson is sorry to see her go. “Sarah has been an absolute joy to coach over the past few years. Her dedication to the sport has grown and she will be sorely missed. At least I have one more season with her and we’ll make the best of it.” Patterson attributes a few other qualities to Birkmeier. “Sarah may be the most competitive person I’ve had. She is driven to be the best. She does not like to lose. Her mental toughness is phenomenal and she’s not afraid to try new poles. Sarah is one of those rare athletes who can do something after being told only once. Her body control and core strength are second to none. She will be a great jumper for the MSU program.”
Rockford High School junior Sarah Birkmeier has done it again. Competing in the MHSAA Division I state track and field meet at East Kentwood High School on May 30, Birkmeier jumped an incredible 13 feet even to capture her second straight state championship. Her record jump beat the previous Division I state meet record by 10 inches, and set an overall state of Michigan record. “My goal was to be the first girl to jump 13 feet from the state of Michigan” said Birkmeier. Senior Danielle Putterman also earned All State accolades, taking seventh with a personal best of 11 feet 2 inches. Coming off an incredible indoor season where Birkmeier won the indoor state championship and set a state of Michigan record of 12′ 8″, much was expected of the outdoor season. An early season foot injury, combined with our poor spring weather, hampered performances during the outdoor season. “We didn’t jump in five or six meets this outdoor season due to weather,” pole vault Coach Kevin Patterson said. “The past two weeks have been structured practice and rest. She’s as fast as ever right now, and that helps. Sarah set a goal of jumping 13′. We originally thought that goal might happen by the time she graduated next year. We are a little ahead of schedule, which is great.” Birkmeier’s second title adds to the list of pole vault state champions for Rockford High School. The title is the fifth in the last eight years, joining previous winners Bethany Hecksel (2002), Stacy Orosz (2004), and Christi Kettlehut (2005), all of whom went on to college to jump. “We’ve been blessed with great kids, awesome parents, phenomenal support from the athletic department and boosters, and facilities second to none. This is our key to success,” Patterson said. Currently ranked seventh in the nation, Birkmeier will be attending the Nike Outdoor Nationals in North Carolina later this month. Her 13-foot jump also qualifies for the prestigious USATF Junior Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Sarah Birkmeier, Rockford Junior, set an all time State of Michigan record in the Pole Vault on Tuesday, March 24at GVSU. After tying her own Indoor State Record by jumping 12′ 6″, Sarah then cleared 12′ 8″ to set an all time record for Indoor or Outdoor performances. Sarah recently won the 2009 Indoor State Championship to go along with her outdoor 2008 MHSAA Divsion 1 State Championship last May. She also took ninth place at the Nike Indoor Nationals in Boston, MA in March.