TROY — When you grow up in the Fong family, the tradition of the Ohio State University runs deep.
Both academically and athletically.
So, it seems only natural that Sophie Fong, the daughter of David and Michelle Fong, would choose Ohio State to continue her career in both.
The Troy High School senior made that official this week in the Trojan Athletic Center, signing her letter of intent to pole vault for the Buckeyes.
But, even after signing, Fong was still trying to grasp what her next step was going to be.
“This (going to Ohio State) is still beyond my wildest dreams,” Fong said. “I look over at my table (in the gym with Ohio State on it) and I still can’t believe its real.”
Her path to pole vaulting success started in the fourth grade.
“I began pole vaulting in fourth grade,” Fong said. “I worked with coach (Herb) Hartman and coach (Roger) Bowen. It wasn’t anything serious, but they knew I was a gymnast. I started taking it seriously in seventh grade.”
She has progressed from there and hopes to go out with a bang in her senior year after qualifying for district multiple times.
“My PR is 12-foot,” Fong said. “I really want to make it to state this year and the school record is 12-4, so I would like to get that.”
Troy girls track and field coach Kurt Snyder has no doubt that she will do just that.
“The thing about Sophie (Fong) is she is so consistent,” Snyder said. “She has been pole vaulting for a long time. Consistency comes from repetition and hard work. I have no doubt she is going to have a big senior year.”
And Fong continued what has become a tradition in the Troy girls track and field program.
“This (big signings) have been going on in the program for the last two years,” Snyder said. “Whenever we have someone go on to college, I make a poster and put it in the locker room for all the girls to see when they come in as freshman and hopefully, that is what they aspire too.”
Fong’s visit to Ohio State early this year just confirmed what she already knew.
I am going to medical school to be a pediatrician, so having a strong medical program was important,” Fong said. “The academics was the most important thing. I love coach (Richard) Eban and all the girls on the team. Plus, I got to mee with my academic advisors and they went over everything. I just loved everything about it.”
Fong hopes to make an impact right away.
“I think I have a good chance to,” she said. “‘They have a good group of vaulters that I know coming in and it will be competitive. I am looking forward to it.”
As she continues in the Fong family tradition.