Wisconsin's Jenny Soceka to tackle heptathlon

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Wisconsin's Jenny Soceka to tackle heptathlon

Unread postby PV Official » Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:36 pm

http://www.uwbadgers.com/sports/w-track ... 10aaa.html

Success in one event not enough for Soceka
After strong start to season in pole vault, senior ready to tackle challenge of heptathlon

April 13, 2010
MADISON, Wis. -- Every collegiate athlete looks to make the most out of their final season as a competitor. Jenny Soceka is no exception.

After an indoor campaign in the pole vault that began impressively but did not end the way she had hoped, the Wisconsin senior is poised to have a memorable outdoor season for the women’s track and field team.

The Madison native is off to a good start in that department after strong outings in the pole vault in three consecutive meets to begin the outdoor season. This week, however, she will change things up by competing in the heptathlon at the California Invitational multi-events competition in Azusa, Calif.

The event is set for Wednesday and Thursday and is held in conjunction with the prestigious Mt. SAC Relays, which run Thursday through Saturday in nearby Walnut, Calif.

“After indoors, I went into outdoors with a different attitude,” said Soceka, who returned to outdoor competition after redshirting the 2009 season. “I was more relaxed and I started training for the heptathlon, which took the pressure off the pole vault.”

Spending three weeks in Florida competing at meets has rejuvenated Soceka. She won the pole vault at the Hurricane Invitational to open the outdoor slate on March 20, breaking a facility record in the process.

She then placed second in the vault at the Florida State Relays a week later before capping off her time in the Sunshine State with another vault victory at the Florida Relays the next weekend. That win came on a clearance at 13 feet, 9 3/4 inches -- a mark that has Soceka leading the Big Ten Conference and ranked No. 14 nationally in the event.

“I tried not to pay attention to how high I was vaulting, but rather just concentrate on my technique and mechanics,” said Soceka, who owns Wisconsin’s school records in both the indoor and outdoor pole vault and finished ninth at the U.S. championships last summer. “Breaking the stadium record in Miami was awesome, and I had a lot of fun vaulting with the other girls.

“I didn’t have as much confidence as I wanted at the end of indoor season. Going to Florida was exactly what I needed to build my confidence back up.”

Her victory at the Florida Relays came over some of her stiffest competition of the outdoor season, including a number of qualifiers for the NCAA indoor championships – the meet Soceka looked poised to compete in early this season before struggling down the stretch of the indoor campaign.

“It’s hard starting in January and competing every single weekend, then going to nationals, then starting up again in your first outdoor meet vaulting where you were vaulting at nationals,” she said of her competitors. “I think a lot of girls at that meet needed a little longer break.”

Soceka credits her success in the first three meets of the season to the hard work she put in during the two weeks she had off after the Big Ten championships, as well as to a change in her routine.

“I asked my coach if I could do the heptathlon right after the Big Ten indoor championships,” Soceka said, referring to assistant coach Nate Davis, who coaches both the pole vault and multi-events for the Badgers. “During the two weeks between indoors and outdoors, I spent the whole time training for the heptathlon.

“When I went back to the pole vault, it just seemed really natural. I wasn’t thinking too much about it. Gradually improving a little bit at each meet was great.”

During her time off between seasons, Soceka went back to the basics of technique and form while training to ensure success outdoors.

“I think a lot of it has to do with my running technique,” she said. “Nate has taught me the correct way to run, and it’s helped in every single event in the heptathlon.”

Soceka is no stranger to the heptathlon, although her last appearance in the multi-event competition came at the Drake Relays on April 25, 2008. Despite nearly two years away from the grind of the heptathlon while focusing on the pole vault, Soceka feels prepared to tackle the challenge.

“We’ve been practicing 3-4 hours every day, so I feel prepared for competition,” she said. “I know that I am in better shape going into the heptathlon now than I was a couple years ago when I did it.”

The senior has high expectations for the remainder of her outdoor season, both as a heptathlete and a pole vaulter.

“I’d like to compete and finish well in the Big Ten in the heptathlon,” said Soceka. “My goals for the pole vault are to do well in the Big Ten and qualify for nationals again this year.”

Brittany Farrell
UW Athletic Communications

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Re: Wisconsin's Jenny Soceka to tackle heptathlon

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:28 pm

Good luck Jenny! :yes:

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Re: Wisconsin's Jenny Soceka to tackle heptathlon

Unread postby Lax PV » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:32 am

She ended up doing really well--won her division with a score of 4971 overall (including all 54 participants she finished 13th).

100H HJ SP 200 LJ JT 800
14.46 1.64m 10.44m 25.46 5.59m 28.96m 2:30.38


oh... and then she took second in the "Women Pole Vault Open-A University/Open" division, tying her lifetime PR at 4.20m the next day... not a bad 72 hours at all!

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