Maria Horrigan is setting her sights on a second state championship.
The Bowling Green High School senior is the defending Division I state champion in the pole vault.
Even before the season starts, she has had plenty to do.
Horrigan has been busy conditioning and fine-tuning her technique.
She even found time to finalize her college plans, signing a national letter of intent to vault at Kent
State and earning a scholarship in the process.
Since winning the state title on June 7 with a school-record vault of 12-10¼, she has been vaulting once
a week, lifting weights three days a week, running, doing speed work and eating right.
“Winning it once makes me want to work even harder to win it again, and it pushes me to keeping working
hard to keep my championship,” said Horrigan, whose other official college visits were to Auburn, South
Carolina and Virginia Tech.
“I want to be the state champion again.”
Horrigan is already a three-time state qualifier. She placed third as a freshman with a vault of 11-8 and
tied for 13th as a sophomore, clearing 10-6.
By finishing in the top eight at state, she earned All-Ohio honors.
“I want to keep getting better. You can never be satisfied,” said Horrigan, who first set the school
record early in her freshman season and has steadily increased it since.
“It’d be disappointing not to win it again, but I have to get there first. There are no guarantees
because it comes down to how you do each day. All you can do is your best, because you can’t control
what everyone else does.”
Horrigan also hopes to break the state record this season, and she’s already close to the Division I mark
and the all-division record.
The all-division record of 13-4¼ was set last year by Navarre Fairless’ Allyson Simmons, who set the mark
when she won her second straight state title.
The Division I state and state-meet record of 13-0¼ was set by Uniontown Green’s Morgan Estes in 2013.
“She’s going to improve her height because her technique on the top of the vault is getting better. She’s
improving her turn,” said assistant coach Duff Madaras, who works with BG’s vaulters.
Horrigan is looking to set a meet-record every time she competes this season, and she’s seeking her
fourth Northern Lakes League title in the event.
She’s the NLL record-holder, setting the mark of 11-6 last season. She originally set the record as a
freshman when she cleared 11-3.
Her brother, Michael, who is vaulting collegiately at Slippery Rock, is BG’s boys record holder.
Horrigan also is the defending NLL champion in the long jump. Her other events are the 400 and 800
“She’s worked harder than she’s ever worked to attain that goal of winning state again,” Madaras said.
“She’s been outstanding. I never have to call her to work out. She’s always calling me to go work out.
“Her physical skills, with the gymnastics background she has, is what’s really allowed her to develop
into a national, elite-level vaulter. She’s really dedicated. She’s hard working. She doesn’t slough off
and puts the time in you need to reach the elite level she’s at.”
Horrigan will start vaulting at Bellevue’s camp next month and will vault weekly at Otsego’s camp at the
Downey Plumbing and Heating building.
She hopes to win a state indoor championship this winter after finishing third last season. Her indoor
best is 11-9, and she’s hoping to go 12-6 this season.
“Once the (outdoor) season starts in the spring, I’ll take it one step at a time and build up to the end
of the season,” Horrigan said. “When the district comes around, the goal becomes getting in the top four
each week, so you can move on to the next week.
Horrigan has a 4.155 grade-point average and plans to major in fashion merchandising at Kent. She chose
Kent because it had the best fashion merchandising program of the four schools where she made official
She first started talking to the Kent coaching staff six months ago. She took her official visit there
during the last week of September and verbally committed to the Golden Flashes Nov. 6.
Kent has won the last four Mid-American Conference championships.
“When I went there, it felt like home,” Horrigan said. “The athletes I met were very nice. They have a
great coaching staff, and I felt like I connected with them. I just liked everything about the school.”