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H.B. vaulter raising the bar

TRACK AND FIELD: Hard work has paid off for Koressel, the state leader in girls’ pole vault.

April 23, 2009|By Matt Szabo

The watch means plenty to Allison Koressel — despite the color scheme.

She wears it while she trains, and it can motivate the Huntington Beach High senior to do even better.

It’s a Nike athletic watch, and she won it by taking first in the girls’ pole vault at the prestigious Arcadia Invitational on April 11. But there’s only one problem for Koressel, who has committed to continue her track and field career at UCLA.

The watch is red and gold, which looks a lot like USC colors.

“That’s the only downfall,” said Koressel, who doesn’t have many of those in her vaulting lately. She hasn’t lost all year.

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Her mark at Arcadia? Thirteen feet, one inch, which was equaled by Del Oro sophomore MacKenzie Landry but Koressel did it in fewer attempts. Not only is that a personal-best and an Oilers school record, but it’s the top mark in the state this season. Nationally, it’s No. 3.

It’s also the third-longest jump in Orange County girls’ track history, behind only current Cal athlete Allison Stokke of Newport Harbor (2007) and Tori Pena of Edison (2006), who also now competes for UCLA.

“Coming into the season, with my PR being 11-8, I didn’t really think I would hit 13,” Koressel said. “I mean, it was always my goal, but it was kind of a long shot. But now that I’ve hit it, I realize I can go higher and there’s things I can change. But just to think that I was No. 1 in the state and I have one of the highest marks in Orange County ever, it’s kind of unreal, to be honest.

“I was friends with [Stokke] and she would always jump at 12 feet and I was jumping at 10-6, my highest. It’s weird to be up in their level now.”

Koressel went on to win the pole vault at the Mt. SAC Relays Saturday, with a mark of 12-2.

She might have thought her time in the sun would have never come. After finishing seventh in the CIF Southern Section Division II finals as a freshman, Koressel had wrist surgery the very next week. Her sophomore year, it was an ankle injury.

“The last meet before league [finals], I tore a ligament in my ankle,” she said. “I tried to jump at league, but my ankle wasn’t functioning. I could barely even run. It was really hard, because I was doing really well that season. I started to do better right when I got injured, so it was really frustrating.”

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