HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Age is just a number for JPII’s Katie Lowe. As just a ninth grader, she broke the school record by clearing 11 feet, all while making a name for herself both within the state and nationally. For that, she is the Hiley Mazda Key Athlete of the Week!

“It was really awesome, it was my ultimate goal for my freshman year so I’m just really happy that I got over that so now I’m just going to go up from there,” Lowe said.

“Afterwards I said well Katie, we’ve got to set a bigger goal now. As a ninth grader and the record board is mostly seniors so it’s impressive and I think it helps motivate her teammates, too,” JPII track and field head coach Stephen Boyer added.

And it was a quick rise to the top, as Lowe has been pole vaulting for just over two years.

“I was a gymnast for about nine years before. The foundation of gymnastics just flowed into the new sport when my interests changed and it just really helped with getting started with pole vault,” Lowe said.

“In seventh grade she qualified for state and she finished last, but I think it was a really a good learning experience for her because she came back last year, she got second. So now this year we’re hoping for first,” Boyer added.

JPII does not have a pole vault pit so Lowe has to travel to other schools to get practice in, including making a trip once a week during the season to the season to Birmingham.”

“It’s really hard especially with keeping my homework and stuff all done but it’s really helpful having the coach down there, too because he’s really, really good. It’s definitely worth it, and I train there during the summer twice a week so it’s just really, really helping with my goals,” Lowe said.

That extra work has been worth it though as Lowe is currently the number one ranked girls pole vaulter in Class 4A, the top freshman girl in the state, and the 14th ranked freshman girl in the country. But the freshman Falcon has much bigger goals for her future.

“I’m just trying to keep my goals high and sights high for the future and stuff, especially for my senior year so I can get my ultimate goal of competing at a DI college,” Lowe said .

“She also wants to win state and then compete in national meets later on in the summer. She’s starting to make a name and only good things are going to happen,” Boyer added .

We are always looking for standout student-athletes in the Tennessee Valley to feature! If you have a high-school-aged athlete that you would like to nominate for Hiley Mazda Key Athlete of the week, you can email, or