GREENVILLE – Greenville senior, Riley Hunt has been selected a high school All-American for her accomplishments nationally in the pole vault.
“Being selected to the 2020 NSAF All-American Team is such an honor,” Hunt stated. “I have worked extremely hard to compete at the National Level, and be in top national rankings. I was looking forward to competing in New York earlier in March, but due to The Corona Virus, the competition was cancelled. On March 7th, I was lucky enough to win my third Indoor D1 State Championship in pole vault.”
“Her athletic awards, winning the state track meet, winning the indoor meet multiple times, state track records, etc. speak for themselves as to the kind of athlete we have at Greenville High School,” said Greenville High School Principal Stan Hughes. “To match her athletic achievements, she is also a great student of academics, and a leader in our building. We are lucky to have taught and coached such a well-rounded, hard-working, and talented young person.”
“I am extremely proud of Riley,” said Greenville Athletic Director Aaron Shaffer. “Her accomplishments are well deserved. She works tirelessly at her craft and is always willing to work hard on the track, in the classroom, and within the school. She is a tremendous young lady with a very bright future.”
“This is a testament of the hard work Riley has put in through the years to rise to being one of the best women pole vaulters in the nation,” said Greenville pole vault coach Micah Coblentz. “There’s no doubt in my mind that she deserves and has earned this prestigious honor.”
Hunt was notified of her prestigious award by the New Balance Nationals stating:
Congratulations on a wonderful 2019 – 2020 winter track and field season! While we regret that we had no choice but to cancel the New Balance Nationals we do not want your season accomplishments to be overlooked. We KNOW how hard you have worked to achieve the ultimate level in national prominence. We have therefore selected an All-America team based on season accomplishments in terms of both marks and honors won. We are pleased to advise that you have been selected as an All American.
As a junior, Hunt earned the 2019 OHSAA Division-I girls pole vault state championship with an all-time state record jump of 13’7” to earn Gold.
The Greenville senior is looking forward to defending her state title but must wait along with all Ohio high school athletes to see what lies ahead for the spring sporting season.
“I am praying for some part of our outdoor season to be salvageable,” Hunt stated. “With social distancing I am unable to vault. I am used to training with BJ at Snap Fitness, and vaulting at Ultimate Air. I am running and doing home workouts so that if we do get to compete I am ready.”
“Being able to compete and wear the Greenville uniform has been a blessing,” Hunt added. “Coach Coblentz introduced me to pole vault as a seventh grader. I was super pumped to be able to try pole vaulting. I want to finish my senior year making Greenville proud. If I get to put on my Greenville track uniform again, I won’t take it for granted. I also won’t take for granted all of the hours spent with Coach P, Coach Coblentz, and my teammates. I have so much to be grateful for.”
“I still feel like we had a lot more in the tank for this year,” Coblentz said. “There were still goals that didn’t have the chance to be met. I’m hoping for the best that we may be able to salvage some kind of an outdoor season to just have a chance at those goals. My heart breaks, not only for Riley, but for all the athletes that were looking forward to competing and rising to their potentials.”
Hunt took time to reflect on a high school career and thank many that have helped her through an amazing pole vault career.
“Through track / pole vault I have had the opportunity to travel and meet a lot of amazing people,” Hunt shared. “New York City New Balance Nationals, Grand Haven Beach Vault, Capitol Hill Competition in Omaha, Nebraska are some of my favorite meets.”
“Coach Coblentz has been instrumental in my success. Words can’t describe how much I appreciate him. He has taught me how to be a better person as well as a fierce competitor. Coach also has a lot of patience.”
“As we get through these crazy times as a country, I know Riley and I are grateful for how her high school career has gone,” Coach Coblentz said, “the lifetime memories we’ve been able to have and make.”
“I also want to thank Coach Shellhaas and the Ultimate Air crew for pushing me to be the best I can be,” said Hunt. “We are extremely fortunate to have a high caliber training facility and coaching staff for Indoor season.”
Ohio’s all-time No. 1 female high school pole vaulter, Greenville’s Riley Hunt signed this past November to continue her education while pole vaulting for the nation’s premier Division-I pole vaulting program, the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, a member of an elite Power Five Conference.
“Looking forward, I cannot wait for my future as an Arkansas Razorback,” said Hunt. “In July, I will be attending my last competition as a high school student in Omaha, Nebraska. I will then begin to prepare to start my collegiate career. I am excited to compete at the next level, and continue to set big goals. Until then, I will continue to dream big dreams, and pray the Corona Virus ends soon.”
“I’m so grateful that Riley has the opportunity to continue reaching her dreams at one of the best pole vault programs in the country, The University of Arkansas,” Coach Coblentz said. “This is all out of our control, so I hope she’s making the most out of having extra time to spend with family before she’s off to college into the next chapter of her amazing athletic and academic career. I know she’ll continue to do great things.”
“I appreciate my family, Greenville Athletics, my community, and my God that allows me the opportunity to do what I love,” concluded Hunt. “This virus has given me a chance to reflect on how big of a blessing pole vault and the people I get to work with are. I miss it.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Greenville’s Riley Hunt sets Ohio’s all-time record to win the 2019 OHSAA women’s state championship pole vault event. Hunt recently was named an All-American as one of the nation’s best female pole vaulters. (Gaylen Blosser photo)