WA has filled two out of three spots for the women’s pole vaulting team for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, with Chook staffer Liz Parnov and Notre Dame student Nina Kennedy qualifying.
“It was a goal I set this year to make the qualifying team, and now I’ve done that I’m super happy,” says Ms Kennedy, 20.
She’s been juggling her sporting career with part-time study in behavioural science, but has taken this semester off to give pole vaulting her all.
Coached by Alex Parnov, Ms Kennedy is no stranger to world competitions, jumping the 2015 world junior record at 4.59 metres at Jandakot City Track Classic.
“This has been my thing for about three years now as a professional,” she says. “I want to work my way up the ranks and see where I can end up.”
Ms Kennedy says she was good at sports as a child, and had always dreamed to pursue athletics professionally.
“Then I was handed this opportunity on a silver platter.
“I was eleven with [coach Alex Parnov] spotted me at Little Athletics and asked me if I wanted to try pole vaulting.
“I’ve watched people go in the 2008 Olympics and I was like, wow, amazing. I thought it would be so cool.
“So I decided to try, and I haven’t looked back since.”
Ms Kennedy flew to Europe on Thursday for competitions in France, followed by World Indoor Championships in the UK.
The Chook’s Vicky Parnov, also competing for one of the three spots, didn’t make the jump at Nationals last week.
“I didn’t compete badly,” she say.
“I went into it with the headspace it was my last competition and with the plan to give it all I’ve got.
That’s what I did, it just didn’t go my way.”
by MOLLY SCHMIDT