Five questions with Olivia Privitera

Q: You played lacrosse and competed in gymnastics growing up, then switched to track and field at the college level. How did those experiences of playing different sports make you the athlete you are today?

PRIVITERA: “When I was getting recruited for pole vaulting, I was like ‘This is really odd’ (laughing). But transitioning from gymnastics into pole vaulting is, my coach [Bob Thomas] calls it, a natural transition. And I guess a lot of times people in high school learn bad technique, have bad form and then they create these habits that they can’t really fix. So, coming from a gymnastics background, I was very moldable, if that makes sense. My coach is looking for gymnast to become pole vaulters because he actually had done it with his daughter and a couple of other girls on the team, and had good success with it. I guess since I was fast and powerful in gymnastics, it just ended up working out.”

Q: You have essentially set a new PR by a foot every year you have competed. Why has there been such a steady progression?

PRIVITERA: “The program. The coaching is awesome and it is very individualized with focusing on what your weaknesses are and then tailoring that to you, which is very, very helpful. I would say individualized training has definitely helped a lot.”

Q: What are your goals heading into your final year?

PRIVITERA: “I definitely want to jump a 14’6” this year. My immediate goal for the indoor season would be to qualify for indoor nationals. So, if I am able to jump 14’6”, I should be able to do that. I definitely want to make it to regionals again and see if I can place top 12, that would be really, really cool. I think it is a goal for all track and field athletes to be able to make to Tracktown USA and compete against the best people in the nation.”

Q: What was it like competing at the NCAA East Preliminaries for the first time this past spring and then being just two spots shy of making it to Eugene?

PRIVITERA: “It definitely hurt a little bit for sure. If I would have cleared that bar on my first or second attempt, I think I was one miss off from making it for pole vault, misses or makes are everything in big meets like that. But it definitely gave me a lot of motivation for summer training and training now. I definitely want to qualify, with being that close to qualifying for Oregon. But it was an awesome experience. I had never competed in a meet that big before and there were two pits going at the same time. It definitely was a lot of fun with a lot going on.”

Q: You have already graduated with an undergraduate degree in human nutrition, food and exercise. What is your master’s degree working towards and how would you like to utilize that down the road?

PRIVITERA: “It’s the same thing (laughing). So, my concentration is clinical physiology in metabolism, and I will graduate this year and apply to dietetic internships. Those internships are usually anywhere from 10 to 12 months. Following that, I will be a registered dietician.”

For updates on Virginia Tech track & field, follow the Hokies on Twitter

HokieSports Shop