What a senior season it was for Troy Christian’s Mackenzie Wills. Wills broke a record in almost every
meet she participated in, setting new marks at the Division III
district, regional and state meets. She also set the all-divisions
state record when she cleared 13-0 at the Division III Milton-Union
district. Wills won the D-III state title.
Mackenzie Wills has had a very exciting year.
But for her it was much more than just this year.
As a pole vaulter from Troy Christian, Wills made the state meet as a freshman and as a sophomore, placing fourth and seventh, respectively.
Her junior year, however, she didn’t get to Columbus. In fact, she didn’t vault at all. Plagued by injuries to both ankles, Wills had to forego her junior season in favor of two surgeries in an effort to regain health and vault her senior season.
And what a senior season it was. Wills broke a record in almost every meet she participated in, setting new marks at the Division III district, regional and state meets. She also set the all-divisions state record when she cleared 13-0 at the Division III Milton-Union district.
But again, it really started when Wills had a bad day.
At the Metro Buckeye Conference meet, Wills decided to come in at 11-6 – a height she cleared with ease nearly every day this season. She failed on all three attempts.
The next week at the district competition, Wills started a little lower.
“I tried to keep my mind right after a rough week,” Wills said. “I came in at 11-6 and no-heighted. It was just one of those days.”
The district meet, however, was not one of those days. It was one of those special days – a record-setting day in fact.
After Wills came in at 10-6 – and missed her first jump – she easily cleared additional heights and moved up. And then continued to move up.
Wills eventually cleared the bar at 13-0 at West Milton’s Lowery Complex setting the all division’s mark.
Wills bested the state record of 12-9 set by Green High School’s Carrie Kayes (set in 2006) and Indian Valley’s Kayla Caldwell (tied in 2007). Wills went for 13-4, but wasn’t able to clear that mark, grazing the bar and knocking it down each time.
At the Dayton Regional meet, Wills went 12-2.
“We had the bar up there (that week in practice), we just couldn’t get it (at regionals),” Wills said. “You’d love to PR every week, but it is really hard.”
With three records under her belt, Wills had just one more to attain.
The long road to Columbus mirrored her long road back to the runway and made her first-place finish at the Division III state meet that much more valuable.
Wills set her final record with a vault of 12-5 at state.
“It was what I have always dreamed of,” Wills said. “Coach (Tom Daly), my vault coach Roger Bowen and my dad had all the confidence in the world in me.”
Wills followed up her record-setting Ohio jaunt by adding another feather to her cap. At the Midwest Meet of Champions held in Jackson, Mich. on June 14 Wills set that meet’s pole vault record with a mark of 12-9.
“(This season has been) awesome,” Wills said. “It is a blessing with everything I have gone through.”