Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

Profile: Maya Reina's dedication to pole vaulting paying off

by Zach Wagner - Lifestyles Editor
Wed, Feb 19th 2020 02:50 pm
Maya Reina embraces coach Andy Fetzner at the Golden Eagle Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 25. Reina is the SUNYAC record holder for the pole vaulting event.
Maya Reina embraces coach Andy Fetzner at the Golden Eagle Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 25. Reina is the SUNYAC record holder for the pole vaulting event.

Dual-sport athletes are a rare breed at the collegiate level, consisting of talented and devoted people who share a passion for more than just one game or competition. There comes a time in most athletic careers where they must pick one sport to focus on, so that person can give all of their time and effort to that one thing to see how far you can take it.

Maya Reina, a senior pole vaulter on The College at Brockport women’s track and field team, is one of those fierce competitors that held multiple athletic gifts. She made it halfway through college before hanging up her field hockey jersey to become a full-time member of the track and field team.

“I played both field hockey and track, but then I decided to stop playing field hockey after my sophomore year and just focus on track,” Reina said. “Then I started to jump higher and I’ve actually jumped two and a half feet higher since this time last year.”

Reina enjoyed playing field hockey, but trying to balance two sports while attending college just became too much to handle. She believed she had a better shot at climbing the national rankings in track and field more than she did in field hockey.

“It just got too much, I decided to focus on what sport I thought would be better for me,” Reina said. “I’m glad I did that because I never really was at a national level with field hockey like I am with track, so that feels really good.”

After changing her workout plan, focusing on the muscle groups used to pole vault and cutting down on her weight, Reina noticed her marks were improving dramatically as she started to reach heights she had never hit before.

“Once I decided to focus on track, I decided to start lifting the muscle groups that were more relative to pole vaulting — I actually lost a lot of weight which actually helped, once I lost that weight it helped me to get those higher heights,” Reina said.

Throughout the 2019-20 season, in which she has broken school and SUNYAC records, Reina has been pushed by her teammates to help her be the best that she can be. She gives special thanks to two former Golden Eagle pole vaulters who were also high flyers.

“Last year the two seniors that graduated, Kelsey Watson and Claire Fisher, actually pushed me really hard,” Reina said. “They were also 12-foot jumpers, so when I came in I wanted to be like them.

Brockport pole vaulting coach Andy Fetzner watched Reina grow into the athlete she is today. Like any other success story, it wasn’t easy getting to this point. Putting trust into the program was a struggle at first, but once she developed a relationship with Fetzner, she saw improvements in her performance.  

“She and I didn’t agree when she first arrived, but we eventually got to trust one another and she saw how much she was progressing by using feedback from all her coaches,” Fetzner said. “Today she is much more positive and optimistic about pole vaulting.”

Due to the years of preparation, Fetzner believes that Reina is in the best shape of her life, both physically and mentally. The backing of her teammates and coaching staff can be credited for her massive success this season.

“Her mental confidence is sky high, I keep putting up challenges physically and mentally and she has been crushing them,” Fetzner said. “Maya has an incredibly supportive team and coaches behind her.”

Reina is currently #3 among all Division III pole vaulters and holds the school record and SUNYAC record in the event, breaking her own record twice. By the end of the season she hopes to be crowned the national champion. With high spirits and a great support system around her, Reina will have a good shot at the title as long as she keeps faith in her training and herself.

Photo of the Week

Taken by Vincent Croce:
Staff Photographer

Author List