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Sarasota Athlete of the Week: Lauryn Dougherty

The Riverview High senior talks learning pole vault and her dream vacation.

Lauryn Dougherty.
Lauryn Dougherty.
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Lauryn Dougherty is a senior girls pole vaulter on the Riverview High track and field team. She won the event, vaulting 10 feet, 4 inches, at the school's regional meet April 27 at George Jenkins High in Lakeland. 

When did you start pole vaulting?

I started my freshman year. I wanted to try something different that no one else did. Running, to me — just running — is boring. I wanted to do something that would push me to my limits. 

What is the appeal to you?

The thrill that it gives me, mostly. It is really exciting. It is seven seconds of tunnel vision. 

What is your best skill?

I am determined and hard on myself. I try to get the technique down. My 'swing up' is strong. 

What is your favorite memory?

Placing at states last year was probably the most memorable thing. (She finished eighth.) It is something I will never forget. 

What has been your biggest challenge?

The fear of it all, definitely. Getting inverted and going up that high. Going to a different pole that is harder to bend. That was all scary. 

What is your goal for states?

I am hoping to hit 12 feet at the state meet. That would be a personal best. 

What is your favorite food?

That is a tough question. I like all food. Sushi, probably. 

What is your dream vacation spot?

Fiji. I am actually a surfer. I have always wanted to surf Fiji waves. My dad (Dean Dougherty) started surfing when he was young, so I grew up doing it. 

Which superpower would you pick?

Flying. That would be cool, to look over everyone. 

What is your favorite subject? 

Art. I have always liked art. I can express myself with art. I especially like photography. 

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

Don't let your fear get in the way of your dreams. 

Finish this sentence: "Lauryn Dougherty is ... "

... Determined. I am always trying to perfect my technique and my skills. I am never satisfied so I push myself to go even harder and higher. 



Ryan Kohn

Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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