Athlete of the Issue: Eliza Mazel


Emily Thomas, Editor in Chief


Every month, The Blue & Gold Newspaper will choose one athlete from the school to be featured for the “Athlete of the Issue.” The athletes are chosen and voted on by the newspaper staff every month. For the month of May, there was no doubt about which athlete should be featured in The Blue and Gold.  


Eliza Mazel, a Hall of Fame senior at GBHS, is currently on the track team as a pole vaulter. Mazel had always been interested in pole vault and decided to join her sophomore year. “I was very excited to find out that we had pole vault here, so I decided to join just to see and to spend more time with my friend; but I ended up becoming very invested in it,” explained Mazel. “I thought of doing other events, but I found myself excelling in pole vault and wanted to dedicate all of my time to it.” 


Over the course of her pole vault career, Mazel has consistently been on varsity and has had many successes. When she first joined in her sophomore year, Mazel competed in districts. The following year, Mazel was the top ranked girls pole vaulter at GBHS and earned the Hercules Award for most valuable girls field athlete. That same year, she got second place at districts which qualified her for regionals. In her senior year, Mazel is still the top ranked girls pole vaulter, in addition to being the Girls Scholar Athlete for track and field at GBHS. After placing first at districts this year, Mazel again qualified for regionals, where she placed second. She will advance to compete at the state level on May 19. Mazel’s official record is 9 feet 4 inches, though she has a personal record of 9 feet 6 inches in practices.  


While Mazel has been tremendously successful in pole vault, she still continues to look for ways to improve. Being an athlete for as long as she has, Mazel has become good at making adjustments. Since pole vault is an incredibly technical sport, it is crucial that Mazel understands how to move her body correctly to maximize heights. “Any slight change in conditions can affect your form, so you have to be ready for anything,” Mazel said. 


In addition to form, pole vault takes a lot of speed and strength. “While I like to think I have all the strength I need, I am not very fast,” admitted Mazel. “I have never liked running, especially due to my asthma, so I have really had to push myself to work on speed training,” she added. 


Part of what Mazel enjoys so much about track is the kind and supportive community. At meets, the track team is always making new friends with students from other schools and everyone cheers each other on. “At every meet I’ve gone to, I have had coaches from other teams help me out, give me advice and lend us poles if we do not have the correct one. Some vaulters don’t even have coaches, so everyone at meets band together to try to help them succeed. Everyone truly wants everyone else to succeed and it is so magical,” Mazel says. 

While Mazel hopes to continue pole vault, it is an expensive sport and not every college has it. In addition to pole vault, Mazel also does weight lifting and plans on competing in powerlifting competitions in college.  

As she prepares to graduate, Mazel has this advice for remaining athletes at GBHS: “Remember that you are an athlete first. The love of sports is about the competition, camaraderie and exercise you get from them. In the competitive world of sports, you can work as hard as possible and do everything right and still not get the result you want. Do not give up, but also do not be afraid to switch paths or try new things. Changing direction if something isn’t working is not giving up – it is looking out for your best interest.”