GREENVILLE – The reigning OHSAA D-I State Champion girl’s pole vaulter, Ohio’s all-time best girl’s vaulter, and nationally ranked in the top five lady vaulters in the country, Riley Hunt was assisting at the Greenville Track & Field Camp on Monday and Tuesday.
“Riley is just a special kid,” said Greenville Track & Field coach Bill Plessinger. “She is going to be very successful in life no matter what she does. She just works well with the kids.”
Plessinger introduced Hunt to the campers at the opening of the four=day local track & field camp.
“Two-time indoor state champion, defending state champion, best girl vaulter in the history of the state of Ohio,” Plessinger told the campers.
“Everybody gave her a round of applause and that was deserving,” Plessinger continued. “She needs to get more credit than maybe some people give her because track is kind of a forgotten sport sometimes. It’s not very often we have one of the people in the whole United States here in Greenville and Darke County – so I’m just tickled she could come.”
Hunt was enjoying her time with the young campers.
“I love seeing the new generations coming up,” said Hunt. “I just love seeing the talent that is definitely coming up, I love inspiring little kids and I just love being a role model.
“I know that a lot of them look up to the older people, the role models,” Hunt added. “I am just super blessed to be able to have this opportunity.”
Hunt attended the Greenville track and field camp as a youth and took time Tuesday to demonstrate her pole vaulting skills to the campers.
“Riley demonstrated vault for everybody, she is excited about that,” Plessinger noted. “That is just the kind of kid Riley is, it is the kind of athlete Riley is.”
Hunt understands the young athletes she is helping to learn the art of pole vaulting may one day break her state pole vault record.
“Records are there to be broken,” said Hunt. “I am definitely going to try and set mine high. I know that pole vault is definitely progressing, so records can fall.”
Hunt will be leaving following her two days of instruction at the Greenville camp for the prestigious Grand Haven Beach Vault, a carnival of vaulting on the Lake Michigan shore before moving on with an invitation to compete Aug. 1 in Omaha, Neb.
“Riley is going to beach vault on Wednesday so she is only here two days, but she took two days out of her schedule to come here and work with the kids,” noted Plessinger. “That means a lot, it means a lot to me, it means a lot to the kids.”
“Beach vault is a pole vault competition on the beach – pole vault only,” Hunt explained. “They take big bulldozers and bulldoze a big area. They put two runways that are raised, that are on boards and then pole vault right along the water.”
Hunt is catching the attention of many major Division I university’s track and field teams from across the nation, giving the incoming Lady Wave senior even more on her plate to juggle along with vaulting.
“It is very interesting,” Hunt said of the college recruiting process. “I am just super thankful for the opportunity to have the colleges coming and just being interested, so it is definitely – I wouldn’t say it’s stressful but it can be at times. I just try to keep it in perspective.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Ohio’s all-time best high school girl’s pole vaulter and incoming Greenville senior, Riley Hunt takes time to help at the Greenville Track & Field camp. Hunt and Coach Plessinger share a moment with several young campers at the school’s pole vault pit. (Gaylen Blosser photo)