Cardenas Takes Valley Vaulting To New Heights

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ELSA – It’s the same routine Bianca Cardenas has worked on since middle school. Now in her 5th year of competing in the pole vault, the Edcouch-Elsa junior is going to state for the first time.

“I’m actually really excited because last weekend at regionals, I was so nervous,” said Cardenas. “I was almost barfing everywhere. I had that heavy butterfly feeling.”

Although Cardenas didn’t win the regional title, she still pulled off the vault of her career.

“It feels amazing,” said Cardenas. “I feel like it’s a huge accomplishment.”

13 feet, 3 inches wasn’t just a program record. It’s a Valley girls record.

“It takes a lot,” said coach Jaime Ochoa. “A lot of mental strength. A lot of will. She’s got all of that.”

Ochoa has been coaching the pole vault for 35 years. He says Cardenas doesn’t just love to compete, she loves to practice. That’s a great combination.

“Sometimes I kid the football players because they don’t have the drive that she has,” said Ochoa.

Before every competition, Cardenas listens to motivational speakers. It’s all about getting the right mindset.

“Just to stay confident and do what you do at practice, but a little better,” said Cardenas.

Tomorrow Cardenas will have her final practice before she takes off for Austin. The junior pole vaulter hopes her first trip to state ends with her first state medal.


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