Sports

Feb 2, 2011 5:51 PM by Andrew Masuda

SLO High pole vault star signs with UCLA

San Luis Obispo High pole vault star Elena Clarke is soaring to new heights. The Tigers' pole vault star officially signed her national letter of intent to UCLA, the nation's leading pole vault program.

The PAC-7 League and CIF Division III champion of 2010 set a school record last year by clearing 12 feet.

Elena said it was her life long dream to compete for an elite PAC-10 university. Clarke, who also has around a 4.50 GPA, said she chose UCLA over Cal and Stanford.

"UCLA we kind of knew that was the best pole vault program. They were all top schools for academics, Stanford was the most so. But the way it ended up with everything coming together with UCLA with the academics and the pole vaulting and the whole team atmosphere and the feel of everyone there," said Clarke moments after signing her letter in front of friends, family and coaches.

Elena is the third local pole vaulter to sign with the Bruins in the last decade or so. Last year, St.Joseph star Natasha Kolbo signed with the Bruins following the trail set by Atascadero High graduate and 2009 World Silver medalist Chelsea Johnson.

The Bruins' women's squad finished sixth at last year's Pac-10 Championships.

Clarke said her goal this year is to clear 13 feet.

She is one of at least four SLO High track and field stars in the last few years to receive opportunities to compete at four year universities.

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