Athlete of the Week: Alexis Gerwert


Emily Wagner

Alexis Gerwert perfected her record-setting pole vault technique partly through her work as a gymnast.

Last week  Bellwood-Antis  track members stood out at districts.

Out of that group, freshman Alexis Gerwert was seeded third in pole vault going into the meet and left as the district champ!

Gerwert also tied the Bellwood-Antis pole vault record with her leap of 10-foot-6.

Having three years left of high school track, who knows what this girl will do?

For her efforts Gerwert is BluePrint Athlete of the Week.

The boys 4×400 of Nathan Davis, Jake Burch, Kyler Lardieri and Matt McMillan (with alternate Ethan McGee), Selena Damiano for shot and discus, and Gerwert take on Shippensburg this weekend at the PIAA track meet.

Gerwert is seeded fifth in Pennsylvania heading into the Class AA competition.

Blueprint: How do you feel about your freshman track season?

Gerwert: I feel it went very well and better than expected.

Blueprint: You tied the pole vault record as a freshman. How does that make you feel?

Gerwert: Well, at the beginning of the season I never would’ve expected to even jump over 9 feet, but once I did my next goal I wanted to accomplish was to tie or break the school record.

Blueprint: Are you excited for the following years?

Gerwert: I’m very excited for the following years because I would like to try some new events and progress in pole vault.

Blueprint: Tell us about Districts?

Gerwert: I went into districts as the third seed and then finished in first. I also tied the schools record that day, so I guess you could say I did well.

Blueprint: How do you feel you’ll do in Shippensburg this Friday at states?

Gerwert: I hope I do well but I honestly don’t know. This past week I broke one of the poles that helped me win districts so I won’t have that, and also the competition is going to be tough.

Blueprint: What’s it like being coached by your dad?

Gerwert: Well it definitely can get annoying because he talks about track 24/7. However, I really like him being my coach because he knows how much I can take and he knows when I need to stop pushing myself.

Blueprint: What made you interested in this event?

Gerwert: My dad was a very good pole vaulter in high school so I kind of expected to do it. However I wasn’t forced to do it.  I have done gymnastics for about 12 years of my life and pole vault employs some of the same skills required from gymnastics. I just figured I’d give it a try.

Blueprint: How does gymnastics training transfer over and help you in this event?

Gerwert: Pole vault relies on body awareness and upper-body strength. Gymnastics is a natural predecessor. Body awareness is probably my number one thing though because I know when my body is vertical (which it has to be to clear the height), when I’m in the air, and when something’s off. Without body awareness I wouldn’t be able to fix my mistakes as fast as I do.