Elizabeth Driscoll Smashes Colgate Indoor Pole Vault Record

The Colgate Track and Field teams began their season on Sunday, Feb. 21 for the Colgate Invite at Sanford Field House. The Raiders battled against athletes from Utica College and College of the Holy Cross in the event. 

Though both the men’s and women’s teams finished second-place in their respective meets, some individual performances stood out. Specifically, the efforts of a first-year pole vaulter on the women’s squad by the name of Elizabeth Driscoll. In her first collegiate track meet, Driscoll rose to the occasion. She broke the previous Colgate Indoor Pole Vault record of 3.05 meters held by Hunter Filer ’18, as she cleared a remarkable 3.06 meters on Sunday. For more context on the magnitude of the achievement, Filer was a veteran senior when she set her record. Meanwhile, Driscoll was getting her feet wet in her first-ever meet at the collegiate level when she rewrote the record books. 

When asked about her seamless transition to the collegiate level of Track and Field, Driscoll credited the rest of her team and fellow pole vaulter and junior Amanda Gollaher for helping her acclimate so successfully.  

“I knew competing in college was going to be a great time commitment. However, I had experience in high school athletics of practicing twenty hours a week, and I was ready to embrace the commitment to have the chance of competing with the Colgate ‘C’ on my back,” she said. “My team has become my second family here at Colgate; they have made it easier to succeed at the Patriot League level. They keep me motivated and are always there to support me, on and off the track.”

Driscoll relished the opportunity to represent the Colgate Raiders and when her time came, she broke through and capitalized on that opportunity in a major way. 

She also spoke about what it meant to her to break the record, as well as what kept her going through a strange and unique COVID-filled year. 

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was unable to have my senior [high school] season. I had been training relentlessly in order to break my high school record, but I never got the chance. After having lost my senior season, I set my eyes on a new goal, Colgate’s record. Imagining breaking the record is what kept me going for almost a full year,” she said. “Before I took my jump at 3.06m, there were some disputes about if the old record was 3.05m or 3.15m. After I made it over 3.06 meters,  I was ecstatic that I might have beaten the record, but was not sure yet. It was not until five minutes after that it was confirmed I had beaten it. I could not believe I had completed my year-long goal.”

But Driscoll is not satisfied. Like all the great athletes who have come before her, she seemed to understand that her ceiling can only become higher and higher throughout her career. 

“I have one more indoor meet this season where I hope to get 3.20m, which is Colgate’s outdoor record. From there, I hope to continue to set higher and higher records,” she said.

Though just a first-year student-athlete, Driscoll seems as mature as any senior on the team. Despite smashing a three-year-old indoor record in her first collegiate meet, her demeanor has not changed. Her sights are aimed even higher now, and the people tasked with updating the record books will be busy with the prospect of four more years of Driscoll’s dominance.