Athlete Q+A Session With Cathedral's Kailee Swart

Kailee Swart - Cathedral - Q&A

Kailee Swart has taken the state by storm early in this indoor track season. Swart's vault of 13'5" in December at the Texas Pole Vault Expo ranks as the best in Indiana this season and one of the best in the nation. Swart is on a mission this season and is ready for what's next as she goes through the indoor and outdoor seasons. 

MileSplit Indiana reached out to Swart in hopes to get to know the state's best Vaulter a little better.

Below find the full Q+A with the Cathedral senior!

Q1: How Did you get your start into Track & Field, what was your first impression on the sport? Was Pole Vault something you've always done since the beginning?

Kaliee Answer: I started track my sophomore year not knowing what to expect. My first impression was that I enjoyed trying multiple events including sprints and long jump.  Ultimately I wanted to try pole vaulting so I kept advocating and asking Coach O'Hara how I could start pole vaulting. I knew my gymnastics background would be a good event to transition to in Track and Field. 

Q2: What is a typical training week like for you?

Kaliee Answer: Generally my Coach Collin Gayde and I try to get in 1-2 short approach vault sessions per week and 1 long approach session. Early on in the season we would normally do an acceleration training session but now we have switched to a Max Velocity session as we are getting into the competition season. Each week I also do two sessions of strength and power training. Then to wrap up the week I have 1-3 days of recovery depending on my meet schedule and how my body is feeling.

Q3: What is your most memorable meet/memory of High School so far?

Kaliee Answer: I have several great meet memories but two that really come to mind are Adidas Outdoor Nationals placing 6th in the Elite division and becoming an Adidas All-American and most recently jumping 13'5" at Texas Explosion in Belton, TX. These moments are not only memorable because I was able to achieve a PR but also the feeling of knowing that all of the hard work and dedication that my Coach Collin Gayde and I have put in is paying off. These are OUR accomplishments.

This year has been extra special because I have had my sister Piper at Cathedral and we have had some great car rides to the school each day. I am going to miss that for sure next year. The memories that we have shared so far this school year are definitely some that I will never forget.

Q4: How & when did you realize that Pole Vault was something you're good at and something you wanted to get into at a high level?

Kaliee Answer:  I always set goals for myself. From day 1, my goal was to earn a scholarship to jump at a great D1 school. I knew after my first few months I had the potential but had to put in the hard work and effort to get me there.

Q5: Who is your biggest role model?

Kaliee Answer:  I have multiple role models in my life but two that come to mind would be Gabi Leon and my parents. Gabi is an athlete that I really look up to as an inspiration. Her determination, dedication, grit and lively personality make me want to be not only the best vaulter I can be but also an individual. My parents are my biggest fans. No matter how large the arena, I can always hear them cheering the loudest. The amount of things that they have sacrificed for me in my career thus far is incredible. I would not be where I am today without them.They have modeled and been the supportive parent I want to be someday.

Q7: You have committed to South Dakota after High School to continue your Pole Vault career, what stood out about South Dakota and where else were you considering? What are you most looking forward to in college in the years to come?

Kaliee Answer: On my official visit at the University of South Dakota, I spent most of my visit with Coach Miles. I got a sense of belonging and that he really cared for his athletes and was supportive of my goals. The team culture was incredible and unmatched. It was a hard decision as I had several opportunities at Power 5 schools with great pole teams but at the end of the day, I knew that USD was where my heart belonged. 

I am super excited to continue my pole vaulting at the next level and I look forward to competing at NCAA Nationals in the years to come. In addition, I am excited to begin the next chapter of my life at school while aspiring to attend Medical School. 

Q8: What is your favorite subject in school?

Kaliee Answer: My favorite subject in school is Math because I love a good challenge. I enjoy the sense of accomplishment from solving a complex problem.

Q9: What is something unique that not many people know about you?

Kaliee Answer: After I hung up my leotard and "retired" from gymnastics during my freshman year I have had 4 surgeries to repair injuries to my hips. 

Q10: What do you most enjoy doing in your free time outside of Track & Field?

Kaliee Answer: Spending time with my family and friends, traveling, reading, walking my dogs, golfing, wakeboarding, hiking, and watching my sisters Piper and Harbour compete in their sports.