There’s a lot to be said about student athletes, especially at the collegiate level. They have to follow a strict schedule of classes, homework, practices and games. Senior pole vaulter Michelle Favre makes it look easy, holding a 3.9 GPA as a biology major while being ranked fourth all time in NCAA Division III.
“I’m really good at time management just from track because I have a certain amount of time between practice and class and getting my work done and going to physical therapy and all of that stuff,” Favre said. “It’s not easy at all, but I am a competitive athlete so I’m up for challenges.”
On Jan. 25, Favre set a new school record, along with a Bucknell University facility record when she won the pole vault by jumping 4.15 meters (13′ 7.5″), five centimeters away from the national record, at the Bison Open. Two days later, she was honored at the National Girls and Women in Sports celebration held at Seton Hall University.
Despite her continued success, Favre is able to stay focused on her goals and not let it get in the way of her continued training.
“I kind of wanted to refrain from getting excited about it because then it kind of throws me off from staying focused,” Favre said.
As with many athletes, Favre has a few procedures she does to prepare and keep mentally focused before big meets. Foam rolling with the team, ice baths and stretching are some of the things Favre does to make sure she’s in the best condition to compete. She added that listening to calming music the night before and the day of a big meet is something that keeps her relaxed and ready.
Last year, Favre won the 2012 New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) championship and was also an NCAA Division III All-American, placing third for both the indoor and outdoor season. Academically, Favre was awarded the Cosida Capital One Academic All-American third team honor for her success on the track and in the classroom.
Pole vault coach Branko Miric has been working with Favre since she was just a sophomore in high school and will likely continue to train with her after she finishes her collegiate career.
“It’s really rewarding when an athlete does everything you want her to do,” Miric said. “She trains hard and makes all the sacrifices you need to make. It’s not just an athletic thing, academically she does really well. To be a success, it takes that kind of effort.”
Favre said she plans on continuing her pole vault training and hopes to compete in USA’s and other higher level meets.
“It all depends on how well the end of this year goes, and where I’m at because I’m not at that level to compete with all the girls who go to Olympic trials and all of that yet, but I’m not far below, so it’s realistic.”
She hopes to finish her college career with qualifying heights for USA’s, which means she would not only set a personal best, but also achieve a national record. Her ultimate goal is to win a national title.
As far as school goes, Favre’s academic career is not quite over after graduation. With her degree in biology, she plans on attending graduate school, focusing on physical therapy.
“[I’m] definitely taking a year off in between graduation and graduate school. I plan to go to physical therapy school, so I’m probably going to apply in the fall for the following year,” Favre said.
It goes without saying that it takes a great amount of dedication, focus and determination to achieve the success that Favre has in her career at Ramapo, and it will likely continue after she graduates in May. As for now, Favre remains focused on finishing out her collegiate pole vault career by achieving the goals she has set for herself.