ALVA – A track and field standout from the small town of Indiahoma is jumping back into the sport at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva.
Cherokee Nation citizen Brooklynn Pierson, 19, who pole-vaulted her way to success in high school, plans to compete in long jump, high jump and possibly triple jump events at the collegiate level.
“She’s going to do well,” Cedric Sunray, Indiahoma Public Schools athletic director and dean of instruction, said. “She was one of the top pole vaulters in the state here and our class when she finished. She’s a very athletic kid to say the least.”
Pierson graduated in 2020 from Indiahoma High School, but spent a year at Northwestern without taking part in track and field.
“I kind of didn’t plan on doing track,” she said. “They didn’t have pole vault up here as an option, so I didn’t even figure they’d really even want me. Then they saw and talked to my mom, who was my coach (at Indiahoma), at one of the meets they were down at. Then when they came back up, they got a hold of me and said they wanted me on the team.”
Sunray called Pierson’s signing “an easy one because she was already attending school there.”
“It was kind of one of those matches made in heaven where it works out perfect,” he said. “And she’ll have one of the best coaches in the country to work with. We’re pretty excited about that for her.”
At Northwestern OSU, Pierson will be under the guidance of head coach Jill Lancaster, a former director of track and field at Division I Troy University who also coached at the University of Oklahoma.
“She’s done a lot of great things and taken a lot of people places,” Pierson said. “She’s completely started up our program at Northwestern. The good thing is they’re talking about bringing (pole vaulting) on this year with me up here if we can find other people.”
Pierson said she began pole vaulting in seventh grade.
“Some people think you’re crazy for slinging yourself 9 feet in the air. But I kind of like adrenaline rushes,” she said.
Pierson qualified for state competition as a pole vaulter during her first three years of high school. After nailing down a new technique, she was excited about her senior season in 2020.
“I learned one of the more important techniques, just rolling back, and that adds a lot of height,” she said. “I hadn’t caught down how to do it beforehand until that year. That’s why I was so ready for senior year. I felt like it was going to be my year. But I didn’t get to compete my senior year because of COVID.”
Pierson, who took part in Future Farmers of America in high school, is studying agribusiness and animal science.
“After I graduate from Northwestern, I plan to go to OSU and pursue a veterinarian degree with livestock,” she said. “I want to run a cow-calf operation also, just like a hobby farm on the side, and do hogs, as well.”