At the New England Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships this past weekend, Charlotte Hodge ’25 helped lead the women’s team to its best result since 2012. Her victory in the pole vault bolstered the Polar Bears to a fourth place finish, trailing third-place Amherst by just 6.5 points in the final standings. Hodge’s winning height of 3.86m also broke Colby’s facility record and moved her into the top-five nationally in the event.
Hodge’s pole vaulting journey has different origins than many of her competitors. A former gymnast, Hodge picked up pole-vaulting in high school. After trying the sport at the local training facility near her home, Hodge’s affinity for pole vaulting quickly grew.
“When sophomore year of high school hit, I started thinking about the fact that I might want to pursue college athletics,” Hodge said. “I wasn’t sure during my [first year of high school], but after I started getting into the sport more, I knew it was something I wanted to pursue.”
The women’s track and field team is grateful for Hodge’s decision, as she has made an immediate splash as a Polar Bear—her victory at the New England Division III Championships was her fourth in five events this season. She attributes much of her individual success to the coaches and teammates surrounding her.
“[My performance] has definitely been the result of good coaching and incredible teammates,” Hodge said. “Our training schedule has really given us the opportunity to grow as athletes and set us up for success. Having great training plans and the support of teammates has been really impactful for my jumps.”
Hodge’s program consists of five days a week of training, with competitions on Saturday. She pole vaults twice a week and works on technique and conditioning for the remainder of the sessions. Even with her focused schedule, Hodge is enjoying every moment of her rookie campaign.
“It’s been super fun. The team environment is just next level,” Hodge said. “It’s very fun to have everyone around you cheering you on. Having the support of teammates and coaches has made it really special.”
Despite the incredible results she has already posted, Hodge has big goals for the remainder of the indoor season.
“I’m hoping to definitely [record a personal best] at nationals. That would be really exciting,” Hodge said. “I would also like to work on my technique a little bit to make it more smooth and consistent. I would really just like to carry the momentum I gained from last week and take that with me into nationals.”
Hodge will attempt to make one final jump up the rankings when she takes on the competition again at the Division III NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on March 11 and 12. Regardless of the result, Hodge has already put together an extraordinary season and is poised to lead the Polar Bear program in the future.