Defeated and dejected, Lindsey Folsom came out of indoor track and field season questioning whether all the training and competition was worth repeating in the spring.

The Cony senior failed to record a height in the pole vault at the Class A indoor meet, which she called a confidence-crusher.

“Coming off the state championship meet, where I didn’t even place, it took a huge toll on my mental state,” she said. “It made me question if it was even worth doing. However, it was my last year and I wasn’t going to quit. It was tough to find the motivation, but I found it.”

She found it in a big way. Folsom peaked at the right time, setting a Class A record in the pole vault by clearing 11 feet, 7 inches at the state meet in Brewer.

For her accomplishments this season, Folsom is the Kennebec Journal Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Erskine Academy junior Jade Canak was also considered.

Folsom came into the spring season with a healthy goal: Break the Class A record of 11-6 in the pole vault, which former Cony standout Bethany Dumas set in 2006.

For awhile, it looked like Folsom would come up short as she was stuck at 11-6 for much of the season.

“The beginning of the season, I was definitely frustrated with where I was at,” she said. “I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do at meets. I felt so good at all my practices but when it came to meets I was stuck at 11-6. I didn’t know what was going on.”

Cony assistant coach Peter Marsh, who worked with the vaulters, had an idea.

“It was a long process but the main thing was that she had to get away from it,” he said. “She had to stop worrying about heights and stick to celebrating the small successes, like technique and improvements. She took a week off and went to Europe on April vacation. That really put her in a different frame of mind. She came back and was finally able to relax.”

Folsom agreed, saying the time away helped her re-commit herself to the sport and her primary event.

“My head was cleared,” she said. “I was ready.”

Folsom finally cleared 11-7 at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A championship meet in Bath. She then duplicated that performance a week later at the Class A meet, which set a state record. Folsom also ran the anchor leg of the 4×100 relay team, which finished seventh.

“It brought me back to where I just loved jumping,” Folsom said. “I was so excited. I knew the records were within my reach. I was so excited and so relieved. Honestly, it was the best feeling ever.”

Added Marsh: “The first (11-7) at the KVAC meet brought tears to my eyes. I knew how much work she had done to accomplish that goal. Now, I think she’ll work harder and compete at that next level.”

Folsom will attend the University of Rhode Island in the fall. She will compete in the pole vault for the Rams.

“I’m ready for a change,” she said. “I’m ready for my next challenge.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640
bstewart@centralmaine.com