Written by: Kate Reilly
Michelle Karabin is the true embodiment of a track and field star. She is the first female track and field athlete since 2012 in Carnegie Mellon history to reach All-American status. In addition to her contributions as a vaulter, Michelle is passionate about the success of her entire team.
Michelle's determination in practice and competitiveness in competition is contagious. "Michelle is the best teammate an athlete could ask for," said track and field alumna and fellow pole vaulter Sarah Miholer. "Without a doubt, I am where I am as an athlete today because of Michelle and her passion for pole vaulting. Absolutely nothing will stop Michelle. She will keep working until any barriers in front of her are broken down," added Miholer.
The 2018 Outdoor NCAA Championships marked Michelle's debut on the national stage. At the meet she cleared 3.65 meters, tying for eighth. Her performance scored her a spot on the podium and the All-American title. "I was crying tears of joy, it was so incredible," said Michelle of the experience, "I was standing on the podium and I was overwhelmed by thinking about all that they (my family, friends and coaches) had done for me to help me accomplish one of my biggest goals. It was such a blessing."
One week prior to the national meet Michelle earned a share of the school record when she cleared a height of 3.77 meters. She shares that record with 2017 graduate Grace Yee. "Grace is such a wonderful role model (and friend) to me," said Michelle, "She has helped build up our vault program into something special, and I really want to follow in her footsteps. I hope tying her record is a good start to that." Michelle is also a two-time recipient of the USTFCCCA All-Academic Award and All-Region Award.
Always looking for ways to support her teammates and fellow athletes, Michelle is a leader in all aspects of the campus experience. Michelle has a double major in biomedical and mechanical engineering and is a University Athletic Association All-Academic selection. As the Student-Athlete Advisory Council secretary, Michelle is actively involved in improving the student-athlete experience.
Eager to get involved in the community, Michelle also volunteers at the Little Sisters of the Poor through the Newman Club. Volunteering is very important to Michelle who said, "There are some things you can never pay back, and the best we can do is pay it forward. I feel like volunteering is one of the best ways to do that." Michelle is also organizing volunteering events for the pole vault squad for the fall semester.
Looking forward to the 2018-2019 track season Michelle said, "I am very excited to have so many new vaulters this year. I cannot wait to incorporate them into our vaulter family and teach them what I can like the upperclassmen did for me when I was a freshman." In regards to performance Michelle is looking to reach even higher goals both for herself and the team. "I always make a large list of (high) goals going into the season, for both the team and myself," said Michelle.
The first competition date for Michelle and the rest of the track and field team will be January 19 at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.