The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

Hudson Woods throws his arms out after a play before getting into position
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Jonathan Jones, Sports Writer • May 18, 2024
Joshua Velasquez committed to serving his country in the U.S. Army.
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Sydney Rakowitz will study education and training and music at the University of Incarnate Word.
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Boy Scouts of America announced on May 7 the organizations name will change to Scouting America on the organizations 115th birthday Feb. 8, 2025. Photo by JV via
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The top 15 students in the senior class receive special recognition at graduation on May 22 due to their hard work throughout high school. 
Graphic by Alex Whelchel via Canva
Profile: Top 15 seniors
Alex Whelchel, Managing Editor • May 13, 2024

Springing into the future: Senior Ella Pickron continues pole vaulting career

Alyssa Hennesey
Senior Ella Pickron pole vaults at a track meet earlier this season.

Senior Ella Pickron will compete at the University Interscholastic League state competition for pole vaulting this weekend.

Pickron will continue her pole vaulting career next year at the Division I level for Colorado State University.

“I always pictured myself going to college in Colorado,” she said. “The atmosphere and how well the team gelled together is what really drew me to their program. Also their track team is the best in their conference and they compete at a really high level.”

Pickron, the 2023 Texas 5A Girls Pole Vault state champ, recently placed first at the Texas Relays. Her accomplishments, however, wouldn’t have happened without all the time and effort she puts in behind the scenes. 

“I practice three times a week,” Pickron said. “I stay motivated by being disciplined and picture practice like it’s a meet.”

Prior to even touching a pole, Pickron was a competitive gymnast for eight years and a star soccer player for five. She began pole vaulting in middle school after a coach suggested that her gymnastics experience would aid her on the track. 

After that, there was no looking back. 

“It started out just for fun,” Pickron said. “I left soccer because I saw more of a future in pole vaulting at the collegiate level.”

It wasn’t easy for Pickron in the beginning, however. She struggled to learn the new sport.

“When I first started pole vaulting, I struggled with building my confidence in my jumps,” Pickron said. “Once I started getting on bigger poles, I was able to understand that I am strong enough to move big poles and jump high.”

Pickron’s first place run at the Texas Relays had her clearing the bar at 12’ 7.5”,  setting a new PR for herself. 

“When I cleared the bar, all I could think about was all the hard work I put in paying off,” Pickron said. “I got off the pit and walked over to hug my coaches and took in the moment of winning.”

With this year’s state meet and her collegiate season quickly approaching, there is no doubt Pickron will embrace the challenges the future holds for her.

“Whenever I experience a setback,” Pickron said, “I bounce back even stronger.”

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