Athlete of the Week: Michael Klement

Klement gets junior season off to strong start

Leader file photo Shawano junior Michael Klement got his junior season off to a strong start with a pair of first-place finishes in the team’s first invite of the year.

Athlete: Michael Klement

Sport: Boys track and field

School: Shawano Community High School

Year: Junior

Every athlete dreams of performing at a high level for an entire season. Shawano junior Michael Klement is hoping to achieve just that, especially after a strong first track and field meet.

Klement earned two first-place finishes at the indoor Wausau West Early Bird Invite on March 16. He won the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.66 seconds and then went on to clear a height of 12 feet, 6 inches to win the pole vault and set a new personal record in the process.

Klement and the Hawks return to action Saturday for an invitational at Ripon College.

Q: When did your interest in track and field begin?

A: My first interest in track began in middle school around sixth grade. I joined the Shawano middle school track and field (team) — I had a natural speed that pushed me into running.

Q: What is your favorite part about a track and field meet or the track and field season?

A: My favorite part of track and field meets is interacting with other athletes and starting conversations. I also enjoy cheering on fellow track members.

Q: You got your season off to a strong start with a couple of first-place finishes. How do you plan to build off those performances?

A: The first track meet kicked off very well for me and to build off of this meet is to hopefully have the snow melted so we can full vault to work on perfecting my form.

Q: Pole vaulting is a pretty unique event to compete in. How do you train for the event over the course of the year?

A: Pole vaulting is a very unique event and I mainly train for this event by taking long runs to build up my endurance and I really focus on my core work.

Q: What’s your favorite memory of competing on the Shawano track and field team?

A: My favorite memory of competing on the Shawano track and field would be jumping my PR at the Shawano track but my favorite memory would be seeing Payden Buck jumping 14 (feet) 6 (inches) and going to state.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not in school or competing in a high school sport?

A: My favorite thing to do outside of school and competing would have to be hunting, fishing or anything outdoors.

Q: Favorite musical artist, TV show and movie?

A: My favorite musical artist would have to be Florida Georgia Line. TV show would be “The Haunting of Hill House.” My favorite movie would be “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.”

Q: Name one thing about yourself that not many people know.

A: Not many people know that enjoy golfing.

Q: What’s the greatest piece of advice you have ever been told?

A: My parents have always told me to persevere and to chase my dreams.