Former Reed City pole vaulter focuses on senior collegiate season

REED CITY — It only seemed like yesterday that Brian Michell was an all-state pole vaulter for the Reed City Coyotes, establishing himself as one of the best in Division 3.

Three years later, Michell is now looking forward to his senior season at Olivet-Nazarene.

Michell, whose parents are Reed City track coaches Brent and Vikki Michell, completed his junior season recently at Olivet-Nazarene.

This season, Michell took fifth place at the NAIA national indoor meet for his highest national finish to date. He had a jump of 16-5 at Naperville during a regular-season meet. At nationals, he cleared 16-1. For outdoor, he had a 15-7.

“I didn’t jump very well, I got hurt (at outdoor nationals),” Michell said, noting he had a sore leg at the time.

His indoor season was perhaps more successful.

As a junior, “I think I was a lot more consistent at 16 feet,” Michell said. “Indoor, I jumped over 16 feet four or five times. I was pretty consistent. Outdoor, I got a lot better. One more year.”

Relaxing and having fun is the simple key for having more success, as far as Michell is concerned. He’s not planning on taking any time off, however.

“I usually vault about every weekend during the offseason,” he said. “That way it’s not three or four months before I jump again.”

Michell is making clear what his hopes are for the 2014-15 season.

“I really want to win it,” he said of the nationals. “I want to jump over 17 feet and become a national champion indoor or outdoors.”

Michell is confident he can reach that goal. It’s a matter of “getting comfortable with the pole.”

Olivet-Nazarene was 13th for the boys at the outdoor nationals.

“We’ve had a lot of success and we’ve gotten better as the year has gone on,” Michell said. “This year, we had our first full season of a brand new indoor track.”