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The Cougar Claw

The School Newspaper of Tomball High School

The Cougar Claw

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Leaping over obstacles

Hoot finds a home in pole vault competition
Livie Fisher
Kinley clears the bar at the Tomball Memorial meet this past Friday.

Phrases such as “Outcast” or “Black sheep” have gained a negative connotation to their names but sometimes it’s necessary to flip the script. Kinley Hoot has set herself apart from her teammates by picking up an event that most would run from. Any outside perspective would agree that the event is scary and of high risk. Kinley turned that fear into opportunity and has jumped leaps and bounds this season in the pole vault.

“I started pole vault because just looking at it it seemed fun,” Kinley said. “It always seemed interesting and I enjoy taking up a challenge.”

After running track in Middle school and playing basketball throughout high school, Kinley made the decision to return to track. Since returning to track, she has found comfort and community within the sport and the team. Outside of pole vault she also runs distance events.

Coming in fresh this year, Kinley has also bonded and found community through track. Her teammates and her view track meets as a way to push each other through painful moments such as cramps and soreness. It is these moments that have made Kinley into a stronger athlete.

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“In track when I run my distance events there are times where I just tell myself that I can keep going and that it’s all just too hard,” Kinley said. “But when I have my teammates by my side they just give me that last push of motivation to finish strong.”

Through the continued support of her coaches, Kinley has taken up the event and has made a name for herself and Tomball High School. One coach in particular has stepped up and become a role model for Kinley throughout this season, Coach Walling. Walling has been Kinley’s rock, his guidance and teaching throughout the season have been Kinley’s reason to keep going and to keep pushing herself.

“Kinley works very very hard and has come in and gotten better every single day,” track coach Hunter Walling said. “She will continue to compete in district and qualify for area.”

The team is currently finishing up the season and has district meets coming up. The district meets will be the deciding factor of whether they will get to run in area meets.

Flipping the script and taking up pole vault has been a great thing for Kinley. She has learned lessons about the sport and has found her calling on the track.

“Pole vault has changed my attitude so much and being able to show up every day is my greatest accomplishment that I can name,” Kinley said.

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About the Contributor
Lauren Nolen
Lauren Nolen, Photo Editor
Hey! My name is Lauren Nolen and I'm a junior here at THS. This is my 2nd year on the newspaper staff and I'm very excited to share my stories and photos! I also compete in journalism academic UIL events.  Outside of school I am a competitive figure skater and I also enjoy taking pictures, listening to music and hanging out with friends. Fun fact: My favorite band is Backseat Lovers. GO COOOGS!!