Graham-Kapowsin High School athlete Chad Simonson has already made a name for himself on the mat as state wrestling champion in the 145-pound weight class. He's now doing it in the air as well. On April 14, at the Add It Up Invitational, Simonson pole vaulted 13'6", a meet record. He was honored by the Washington Interscholastic Activies Association as one of its Athletes of the Week. The Dispatch was able to ask Simonson some questions, edited for space:
Dispatch: Congratulations on being named WIAA athelete of the week. How does it feel to get that honor?
Chad: It feels pretty spectacular coming off a good wrestling season and then actually earning the honor for another sport It feels good that all the hard work I have put in has paid off. I know that this award and opportunity could never have occurred if it wasn't for the tireless support of my mom and dad. I can't ever think of any event that I have been a part of that they were not there cheering and supporting me and my endeavors.
D: I understand even though you set the meet record for pole vault, you might not be all that happy with the results. Why is that? (Simonson has cleared 14'1" this season, good enough for seventh best in Washington)
C: It was definitely a cool thing to break the meet record. It was the first time I have ever broke a meet record before. I like to always set my bar high because that way I can continually improve myself. Some times you fall short because of circumstance but you have to accept that and continue to strive higher.
D: It’s your senior year, are you looking at higher education? Doing sports while there?
C: I will be attending Arizona State University in the Fall. I plan to attempt to walk on for wrestling and/or pole vault, because I achieved great success. Because I enjoyed what I was doing, I would rather compete for the enjoyment of it then having the added stress of being paid for it (scholarship).
D: What are your interests when not playing sports?
C: I would consider myself a valued family member. I have always been close to my immediate family and a large part of time has been spent on the race track. Wether it is here locally, at the PNW4WDA or racing our Jeep in the desert for the Best In The Desert Racing Association. That has probably made the greatest impact on who I am today.