Sasha Strem, a pole vaulter, soars at the Junior Olympics.

At the 2023 USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships, Encinitas 12-year-old pole vaulter Sasha Strem won silver. 

 Sasha jumped 10’8” at the July 24-30 meet at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., close to her 11’ personal best.

Sasha, a Flora Visa Elementary alumnus, starts seventh grade at Diegueno Middle School this month.

Her father Brian pole vaulted at Cornell University in high school, therefore she started pole vaulting during the pandemic. Her dad's vaulting shots at home were inspiring: “I always wanted to do it,” Sasha added.

Sasha, a soccer player and gymnast, started easy with a private coach. At the North County Pole Vault Club in Escondido, coaches taught her how to fly securely.

 Pole vaulting's peculiar physics make racing down a runway to launch backward on a pole scary.

“Not scary,” Sasha said. “It’s excitement that you’re actually doing that and getting that high.”

Sasha trains twice a week with the club and sprints with San Dieguito Academy graduate Cassandra Cinzori on weekends. Cassandra will compete for Northeastern University in the autumn. She holds the school record in the 100-meter sprint and is second in the pole vault.

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