Published in The Chagrin Valley Times
June 28, 2018
She could have remained silent and moved into all-American podium position during the NCAA Division III track and field outdoor championships on May 24 in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Ohio Northern University sophomore Maggie Krause, a 2016 Kenston graduate, had cleared 3.65 meters, or about 11 feet, 11 3/4 inches, in pole vault competition, which she thought was going to be good enough for ninth – just one spot shy of the podium.
Her Polar Bear teammate, junior Maddy Reed, came in ice cold at 3.75 meters, however, and missed her first two attempts. Something funky was going on with her steps, and she was on the verge of a no-height.
All Krause had to do was zip her lips to guarantee herself a podium spot, but it would have been at the expense of her teammate.
“Technically, if I didn’t say anything, I would have moved up to eighth,” Krause said about detecting the culprit of Reed’s hiccup in her steps. “But that never really crossed my mind that I could not tell my teammate that to get on the podium.”
Krause and Reed both start their runway approaches about 80 to 85 feet from the planting box, but Krause noticed during warm-ups that the 9s looked an awful lot like 8s on the tape measure.
“For (Reed’s) first two attempts at her opening height, she was way, way off and did not look very good,” Krause said. “I was catching one of her steps, and it was really wrong, and I couldn’t figure out what was happening. And right as she missed her second one, I realized that she was starting 10 feet too far back.
“So, that’s when I realized and told my coach, and I told her, and she moved in 10 feet, because she mixed up the 8s and the 9s on the tape measure. And then her third attempt was fine. So, technically, I was already out then, so all these other coaches came up and told me how great it was that I corrected her.”
Reed went on to clear 3.8, 3.85, 3.90 and 3.95 meters on her first attempts to take over the lead – her highest mark is about the equivalent of 12 feet, 11 1/2 inches.
Krause, meanwhile, missed her third attempt at 3.75 meters and thought she came short of her season goal of becoming an all-American by one place. Her season best entering the meet was 3.88 meters, or about 12 feet, 8 3/4 inches.
“I was just really angry at myself, but my teammate was still in, so I was trying to keep it together to be there for her and cheer her on, and I didn’t want to bring her down with me,” Krause said. “So, I was really, really angry with myself but trying to be there for her too. So, it’s tough.”
While Krause regularly cleared heights that made her a top contender in the nation among Division III college athletes this year, her career best clearance in high school was 9 feet, 6 inches – good enough to tie 2005 Kenston graduate Bayley Nosal’s school record and finish 14th at the Division I regional meet her senior year.
Krause also competed in the 300-meter hurdles, some high jump and the four-by-400 relay at Kenston, earning first-team all-Chagrin Valley Conference accolades. Not to mention, she played soccer, won a Western Reserve Conference title on the 1-meter springboard for the swimming and diving program, was a member of National Honor Society and an AP Scholar.
With both of her parents, Pete and Beth Krause, of Bainbridge, alumni of ONU, and her older brother, Andrew, already a student there, Krause enrolled as a biology/premedical major in the fall of 2016.
In her freshman season as a Polar Bear, Krause set a personal record at 11 feet, 2 inches – 20 inches higher than her high school best.
“I had like a million high school coaches,” she said. “Every single person I went to in high school, when they would first see me, they were like, ‘Oh, you have so much potential.’ And everybody I went to would say I have potential, but everybody had so many kids they were coaching and nobody really had the time to put into me to really let that grow, I guess. So, in college, when I had a smaller team and only one coach, it really helped me.”
Under the direction of ONU pole vault coach Stephan Johnson, Krause advanced to the Division III NCAA indoor track and field championships this past winter and cleared 11 feet, 9 3/4 inches to finish 12th.
After perfecting her approach as a freshman, Krause said her swing had been her main focus to add extra height during her sophomore campaign.
“In high school I never would have thought I would have jumped over 11 feet,” she said. “Last year, I jumped an 11-02. So, going into the season my sophomore year, my goal was just to make it to nationals, and even that was a stretch.”
After getting used to the level of competition at the indoor championships, however, Krause said she had her sights set on reaching the podium during the outdoor championships on May 24.
The indoor pole vault champion, Ithaca College senior Katherine Pitman, who cleared 4.28 meters, or about 14 feet, 1/2 inch, to run away with the title by 13 inches in March, was the heavy favorite to also win the outdoor title.
“She was supposed to win it all by well over a foot,” Krause said. “She’s on a whole different level than everybody else there. But I went out (at 3.75 meters), and I was really upset, because I thought I was in ninth and I was assuming (Pitman) would clear something and get first.”
Passing on the first seven heights, Pitman came in at 4 meters even, or roughly 13 feet, 1 1/2 inches.
“So, I was sitting off to the side all upset that I was in ninth and I missed my whole entire goal by like one spot,” Krause said. “And I remember just sitting there and counting all the girls I would have beat, if I would made one more height, and I was super upset.
“And then I watched (Pitman), who was supposed to win it all, miss her first two attempts. And then I sat there and was like, ‘Well, she’s going to make her third.’ And everybody in the crowd was just like speechless when she missed her third attempt.”
Instead of winning, Pitman no-heighted.
ONU junior Reed ended up capturing the title at 3.95 meters, while Krause finished eighth on the podium to become an all-American.
“You never want to cheer for anybody to no-height like that, and I feel bad for her,” Krause said. “You always want to be a good sport. You never want to cheer for somebody to miss. At first, I was trying to reserve myself.
“But it was just such an amazing day for my teammate and I to both be up on podium,” Krause said. “We’re the first time in Ohio Northern history that we’ve had two people on the podium in the same event. So, that was pretty cool.”
Overall, the Ohio Northern women finished seventh in the team standings with 30 1/2 points from senior Emily Richards winning the 800-meter run, 2:04.22, and the 1,500 run, 4:25.08, Reed winning the pole vault and Krause taking eighth in the pole vault.
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