OKEMOS – Sophia Franklin admits she is a track junkie.
The Okemos High School senior has spent plenty of time since her middle school days consuming videos of other track and field athletes and closely watching what they’re doing.
Often, when Okemos coach Brian Harrod tells her about a certain track video, Franklin has already seen it.
“I feel like that’s just something I do honestly. I like to watch people, and I learn from watching people,” Franklin said. “When Coach Harrod was talking about (me) just watching these videos, I would literally watch them over and over and over again and look at very simple things like their trail leg, lead leg and their landing and how their arms were coming off the hurdles and all that stuff. It almost got ingrained in my mind. I learn very well through seeing things, and, by seeing that, I felt like it really helped me to critique myself. I think that’s one of the reasons I got better.”
And Franklin believes that is part of why she’s developed into one of the state’s top track athletes and will be continuing her career as a pole vaulter and hurdler at Michigan State.
Franklin is coming off a strong junior track season and recorded top-five finishes in the pole vault (second), 100 hurdles (fourth), 300 hurdles (fifth) at the Division 1 state finals in June. She also placed third in the pole vault and fourth in the 100 hurdles at New Balance Nationals following the season.
Franklin didn’t start hurdling until she was in seventh grade and didn’t start pole vaulting until her freshman year. She says her attention to detail has helped her pick up both quickly.
“I’m a very quick learner, so, if someone critiques me, I can take that critique and kind of turn it into something that pushes me harder,” Franklin said. “I really like to watch my progress, and I think that’s what helps me get better.”
Franklin is motivated to conclude her high school track career strong and said signing with MSU will fuel her drive for the spring.
“(This is) another thing to push me even harder,” Franklin said. “This spring season I really want to do a lot better than I have done the past three years. It’s just even more motivation I think.”