Sports Q&A: Michael Sestili

Pole Vault State Champion and junior at Helena High School Michael Sestili talks about his stellar season and state title. 

On Friday, Feb. 2, Helena High School’s Michael Sestili stood proud at the top of the podium at the AHSAA Indoor Track and Field Championship. Competing against students around the state in boys pole vault, Sestili went above and beyond, clearing a mark of 14-00.00. With this accomplishment, Sestili was crowned the state champion in boys pole vault for 2024.


Tell me a bit about yourself?

My name is Michael Sestili, and I am a junior at Helena High School. I am on the track and field team, in the National Honor Society and I attend the Station Church.


How long have you done track and field?

I started track and field at age ten with Iron City Speed, a competitive club track team, currently under Coach Casey Blackman, who has helped me become the athlete I am today. I used to compete in many events, but currently my sole focus is pole vault.


What made you decide to try pole vault?

I was interested in trying decathlon, where athletes compete in ten events, one being pole vault. After I realized how interesting and enjoyable pole vault was, I shifted my goals to focus on pole vault.


What is your favorite thing about pole vault?

My favorite thing about pole vaulting is having a good time with my friends and coaches at Helena High School and Peak Athletics.


What do you find to be the most challenging part of pole vault?

Setbacks from occasional injuries.


Talk me through the day of the state track meet. Were you excited? Nervous?

I was a little nervous at first, but I was excited to compete.


What did it feel like to win first and become the state champion?

It felt good to know that my hard work allowed me to bring home the win for the Huskies.


What has been your favorite memory from this season? What are you proudest of?

My favorite memory was helping my pole vault coach, Chris Spear, alongside my friends and my teammates at Peak Athletics with the setup of the annual Vulcan Vault held in Homewood.

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