In her very first collegiate meet, first-year pole vaulter Laura Reigle made Lehigh history when she set the indoor pole vault record with a mark of 3.96 meters.
Less than two months later, Reigle broke her own record. During the Lafayette Duel on Jan. 28, Reigle became the first woman to jump four meters in the pole vault in school history. Her jump of 4.00 meters matched the Patriot League indoor record, which was set in 2020 by Navy’s Charlene Morke.
Reigle said she has been aiming to reach that mark for years, and it is a big accomplishment for her.
Coming into Lehigh, Reigle had been competing in pole vault for six years. She credits her success not only to her training but also to her teammates and coaches’ support.
“My track and field team has been great,” Reigle said. “Everybody is so supportive, and I love that I’ve gotten to meet so many different people from so many different backgrounds.”
First-year teammate pole vaulter Lena Perlmutter said the team is always supporting each other and everyone responded with high energy when Reigle broke the record.
“Everyone was going insane — like everyone, not even just the vaulters,” Perlmutter said.
She said with Reigle having broken two school records, the team was excited the first time but even more proud the second.
Head pole vaulting coach Dylan Bennett said he believes Reigle has the qualities to contend for championships at the Patriot League and national level.
“She is hard-working, dedicated, consistent and analytical,” Bennett said. “I don’t think I’ve worked with a pole vaulter that knows each part of their run and vault as well as she does.”
He said Reigle is motivated and curious, constantly putting in the work to learn more and improve.
Beyond her personal performance, Bennett said Reigle is always trying to analyze her teammates and push them to be better.
“She doesn’t just care about what she’s doing when we’re vaulting, she cares about what everyone is doing,” Bennett said.
While the coaches are always there for corrections, Perlmutter said her team members will compliment each other and offer feedback during practices.
Despite accomplishments and praise, Reigle said she knows she has to stay focused as she looks to accomplish more this season.
“I want to keep pushing myself — trying to get on bigger poles and longer runs and keep trying to improve right now,” Reigle said. “I’m excited to see who my competition is at Patriots and to get to compete against some pretty good girls there.”
Lehigh’s women track and field has one more meet until the Patriot League Championship, the Bucknell Tune Up on Feb. 17.
The Patriot League Championship will take place on Feb. 25 at the Naval Academy.