Flying from state to state

The High Flying Story of Avianna Trinidad

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Avianna Trinidad high fives Coach Ulbricht after a good jump

Tim Tschoepe, Sports Editor

A dream. That’s where it all starts. For Avianna Trinidad, it started back in middle school. When she realized that she could pole vault higher than the boys. “At my very first meet I jumped 8’10, while most of the boys only jumped 7’’she said. “From there, I reached higher heights and realized this was something I could do in college.”From there, she exceeded all expectations, making varsity her freshman year as part of a relay team. Of course, it wasn’t easy, when she got to high school it was a whole different animal. She “still enjoyed it, but there were plenty of times I felt like quitting.” As the years went on she got better and better with her work both in school and outside school. It all started paying off sophomore year when she started receiving letters to compete at the next level. The first schools to contact her were UIW, West Point, and Mississippi State. Over the next year, Trinidad would continue to pile up offers, but nothing would get her name out there like her performance at the state meet her junior year. Entering the meet as a wild card it was “very nerve racking” and when she got to the meet she was a “little nervous but  was mostly just excited.” 

 

Like a gunshot, the state meet was in full swing, with pole vault being one of the first events of the meet. Staring at her competition, Trinidad’s mindset was “I want to win this thing.” But as the jumps began, she realized that she “was among friends”and  seeing everyone jump made her excited to be a part of the event. By the end of the day, Trinidad had gone from a wild card, to second place in the state championship. “I was extremely excited once I jumped the bar and realized I had gotten a medal.” But she didn’t do it all by herself. Trinidad had a partner. She considered both her and her coach medalists. “Coach Ulbricht and I were such a team that it felt as if we were both competing that day” Trinidad said. 

 

With the state meet medal in her pocket, colleges lined up, especially after Trinidad was on the news for her accomplishment. When the dust had settled, she had narrowed it down to two schools, and after a college visit, made her decision.”It was between Stephen F. Austin and University of Arkansas at Little Rock. When I went to visit Little Rock, I absolutely loved the coach’s way of being and the pure compassion I felt he had for his athletes. Coach Jacobus and his wife gave me a feeling of true care and excitement about the pole vault program.’’ After the visit, Trinidad was set on the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is very excited to start her collegiate pole vault career because she will get to solely focus on her jumps and not have to worry about running events. “In high school I ran the 4×4, 4×2, 4×1, 400, and the 200, so it was a lot to have to focus on” and “in college, I’ll be able to just focus on pole vault.”

 

However, she still had her senior year of high school, as well as a senior track season in the spring. Trinidad made a plan for her season and looked to execute it to a tee over the course of the season. Her plan was to jump 14 feet and after her first meet when she cleared 13 feet, she felt confident that she could reach her goal.  Then on April 17, 2020, the season came to a screeching halt when the UIL cancelled the remainder of the spring season.  Although unfortunate, that’s not stopping the future Little Rock Trojan from continuing to focus on getting stronger during this pandemic by hitting the weights in her garage.

 

When the quarantine ends, and things get back to normal, Avianna looks to pursue a career in philosophy and will take with her all the memories, friendships, and lessons learned throughout track and high school to a state where a promising future awaits. 

 

At the end of our interview, Avianna wanted to express her appreciation and gratitude to both her parents and coaches.  She states, “I would like to thank my parents & my coaches. My parents I thank for everything. Coach Ulbricht, Coach Brookelyn, Coach Dickson, Coach Anicka, and Coach Logan. They have all been by my side since the very beginning. Coach Ulbricht was always my friend at school who I talked to about a lot of things and he understood a lot about me. I loved jumping with him, even when we had our little run-ins, we have always been friends. Coach Brookelyn and Dickson have been coaching me out at their gym, Elite Sportz, since forever. Brookelyn has pushed me and given me tough love when I needed it and Dickson has brought out an aggressive jumper I hadn’t seen from myself. I’ve shared happy tears and sad tears with all of them and I couldn’t have asked for better coaches.”

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