William Numnum: Athlete of the Week

Last week at the Mobile Challenge of Champions, Northridge's William Numnum set an all-classifications #1 in the Pole Vault clearing 15-01.00. He cleared his first four heights and then missed his first attempt at 15-01.00 before clearing it on the second attempt. We caught up with him regarding the big performance!

Tell me about this weekend! Walk through the event. You're now State #1 in the pole vault.

Well jumping 15 feet had been a goal of mine going into the outdoor season. Before this meet, I had only jumped 14-07.00 one time in Outdoor, which was a new school record. I just came off a month long injury so this was only my second meet back and being able to clear 15-01.00 was an unbelievable feeling. When we started warming up, most of my practice jumps were not that good and I honestly wasn't expecting much. As the competition started, I got into a good rhythm with  my run and started going up poles. When we got to 15-01.00 I went to a pole I had only jumped once in practice and when I left the ground I had a feeling this was going to be a good jump.

What kind of injury were you dealing with? What were some things you were doing for rehab?

I found out I had a small fracture in my toe from running hurdles so I was completely out for all my running events. I was very limited to put pressure on it so I started riding the stationary bike and got into physical therapy with ATI Fitness. With that, I was also constantly doing immobile pole vault exercises like inversions, pull ups, etc. 

Can you describe to the non pole vaulter what that feeling is like when you know in the air it's gonna be a good jump?

The best way I can describe it is when you first look at the questions on a test and you already know you're gonna ace it. As soon as I took off from the runway, I saw how well my pole bent and just from that, I knew I would clear this bar. 

Now that 15-00.00 is taken care of, what's the next goal?

The next goal is to keep putting in hard work at practice each week and getting that bar higher.

What is your pre meet routine?

Every night for the past three years I've eaten Pad-see-u and sushi the night before a meet from Thai Basil II. It's my favorite meal. Most of my pre meet routine consists a lot of stretching and jogging and before every event I say a prayer.

Have you started the college recruiting process yet?

With this being my junior season I have visited a few colleges. I don't really have a particular college that I am dying to go to but Auburn has always been a good school to think about. I've always wanted to be a veterinarian and I just recently visited Auburn. 

What are you doing when you're not doing track and field?

Most of the time during Outdoor, I'm pretty stacked up with practice but when I'm not doing that, I usually am doing school work or hanging out with my friends. I love to hunt and fish at my farm with my family and when track is not in season, I play football. 

What position in football? And what is your favorite thing to hunt?

I play running back/outside linebacker and my favorite thing to hunt is deer.

Before this, what was your favorite track memory?

Last year during the State Championship, I had an amazing vault day. At the time, my PR was only 13-06.00 and somehow I jumped 14-00.00 on my first attempt to win State. It was by far one of my favorite memories running track.

What is your favorite cheat meal?

I love boneless wings with Honey BBQ sauce. Honestly, anything with BBQ sauce is great.

If I'm a non track and field van, why should I come watch pole vault, in your opinion?

There is no other sport that cause someone to fly 15 feet up in the air. You can ask anyone that has seen a pole vault event and they will tell you how much fun it is to watch. Street vaults are also amazing to go to. There are hundreds of pole vaulters and most of the time some are jumping 17+ feet.

Will you be jumping at the Vulcan Vault or the Dauphin Street Vault?

I will be at both as long as I am healthy.

Catch William back in action this weekend at the Mountain Brook Invitational doing the pole vault, 300m hurdles, javelin, and the 4x400m.