Flying almost 12 feet into the air, Megan Tramel flew into the Oklahoma state sports record book, as the first female athlete to win four consecutive pole vault medals in state competition.
With her 11'6" jump at the state track meet on Friday, May 11, at Yukon High School, Tramel sealed the record which began when she earned her first, first place finish during her freshman year.
"It's been a goal I've been working for, since my freshman year," Tramel said, adding she feels relief that the goal has been reached. "I love the sport, and it became a passion and it's just a given for me that I work hard, because I was involved in it.
"When you see results, you want to work harder. God blessed me with this."
Tramel first won in 2015 with a jump of 11’6’’ and returned in 2016 to win again with the same height.
She became a three peat contender in 2017 after clearing a height of 11’0’’ in the pole.
This year Tramel’s winning jump was at 11’6’’. She also holds a personal best and Grove High School record at 12’.
While Tramel was pleased she earned her fourth first place victory, she was sad she missed setting the state record.
"I wasn't happy, because I wanted the record," Tramel said. "I was a little disappointed because I didn't do my best. But [I] was pleased I won."
For those who come after her - including Erya Elder, who placed fifth, and Hannah Dozier, who finished sixth - Tramel has this advice.
"Work hard, show up for practice, and listen to your coach," Tramel said. "If you don't have one, find one.
"[Also] trust your coach, he knows more than you, and be willing to put in the work."
Road to victory
Tramel first broke the local record during her freshman year and has continued to break records not only for Grove High School students but at various meets as well.
During her seniors year she broke the school record two separate times.
The first time happened in the Miami track and field meet on Tuesday, April 10 with a 11’9’’ jump.
The second record was set at regionals with a jump of 12’.
After winning her competition, she decided to make an attempt at the state record of 12’2’’.
Due to the requirements set by OSSAA, an official had to be called and an official measurement needed to be made to insure accuracy.
It took about 30 minutes for the official to arrive in Yukon, during which Tramel had to wait to make her attempt while the officials measured the height of the pole to insure it was an accurate 12’2’’ jump.
She had three attempts to make the mark but was unable to as she cleared the pole but brushed it on all three jumps.
Track and field coach Warren Brumley said Tramel puts in a lot of work to succeed at her chosen sport both in an outside of school.
“You can’t just flip a switch and decide to be good one day you have to put the work in, and she does,” Brumley said. “I think it will very hard to match the feat of four in a row due to there are so many factors that play into accomplishing this."
There has only been three boys in Oklahoma to ever win four in a row and one of those was from Grove, Dusty Gerhke.
Brumley said Tramel has been a great example of leadership in the weight room, out in practice and in the classroom, carrying a 4.0 grade point average. Tramel is also one of this year's graduating class top scholars.
Tramel has overcome several obstacles through her years, Brumley said, still had a single goal in mind which was to win each year.
He said she has always asking and willing to work on her weaknesses by doing extra drills knowing that nothing ever comes easy.
"I think her work in the weight room played a major part in her success along with her wanting to be perfect in the technique of vaulting," Brumley said. "I think all of the coaches agree that we are extremely proud of the work ethic of our track team as a whole."
Brumley joked he would often have to tell Tramel to stop practicing.
"It is a good thing when as a coach you have to tell athletes to go home after a workout because they would like to keep practicing," he said. "When the underclassman see the seniors working as hard or harder, it sets a great example for the next year and beyond."
Brumley said the team had two school records broken this year, Tramel with 12 feet in the pole vault, and Rory Geer breaking the 800 meter run record with a time of 2:20.36.
"Anytime an athlete breaks a record, it is a big accomplishment," Brumley said. "All of the coaches stress that we want the athletes to peak in May and the team as a whole did a fantastic job of accomplishing this."
Tramel plans to attend Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri, where she was offered a scholarship for pole vaulting and academics. She eventually plans to pursue a career in the medical field.