It was quite a night for Karlie Stewart at the recent Mount Si High track and field team banquet.
The high-jump standout, who graduated on June 7, received the most inspirational award and was inducted into the school’s track and field hall of fame.
Next up, she’s headed to George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon to continue her athletic career on the Division III level and focus her studies on exercise science. She’s already got a jump on college by taking Running Start courses at Bellevue College.
At the recent 4A state meet, Stewart placed eighth in the high jump with a mark of 5 feet, which was short of her personal and school record of 5-4. She hit that mark twice this season in April, first against Eastlake — breaking the school record of 5-3 — and then the following weekend at the Pasco Invitational. Prior to those jumps, her previous PR was 5-2.
“It was just so exciting, after I cleared it and I landed and I saw the bar was still on. My dad’s my coach, he was there and he was super excited, my mom and sister and teammates, and they were all so excited for me. Seeing how hard I’ve worked throughout all of high school,” Stewart said of feeling grateful for her success and hitting those 5-4s.
Stewart said the approach to the bar is vital: getting good speed on fresh, springy legs that provide momentum to clear the bar.
Although Stewart and her fellow high jumpers didn’t unleash their best marks at state since the weather was cold and rainy, the Wildcat said her first time at the premier meet at Mount Tahoma High in Tacoma “was pretty special just having it be my last high school meet, making it to state.”
Stewart began high jumping in sixth grade, following in the footsteps of her dad, Patrick, who competed in the event during his high-school days. Like when she started, Stewart finds high jumping to be an enjoyable event where she can work on her mental game and release maximum effort.
“I’ve met a lot of really awesome people and my teammates are my best friends. My coaches have had a huge impact on my life,” said Stewart, adding that she’s learned how to successfully balance school, work and sports during her Mount Si career. She thrived in her captain’s role and aimed to set a good example for her teammates, and stressed the importance of being active and eating well.
Stewart didn’t compete her sophomore year because she had hip surgery — due to overuse from playing volleyball and basketball as well — and she’s performing at about 70 percent these days, she said.
“It’s definitely been a very humbling experience. I learned a lot about myself and a lot in my faith,” Stewart said about rebounding from the injury and continuing her high-jumping career (she no longer plays the other sports).
The Record asked Stewart a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into her life:
What would you say your personal motto is that you try to live your life by?
I’m definitely big into motivational quotes. One of them I would say is “God is good, all the time.” I try to remind myself, no matter what I’m going through, that’s the one that kind of keeps me going.
What super power would you like to have?
Flying would probably be pretty cool.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
I really like the Marvel movies, so probably the first “Thor” movie.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the Snoqualmie area?
MOD Pizza’s always good.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
When people have no eraser on their pencil and they’re trying to erase. That’s pretty annoying.
What’s a special skill that you’d like to learn?
I’d like to get better at cooking. I really like to bake, but I usually just bake cookies and brownies. I don’t really know how to cook very well.
Do you have any kind of a routine before meets?
Make sure I get enough sleep, drink enough water the day before. Usually have a cup of coffee in the morning. And then I try to usually have the same meal, a sandwich and some carrots and fruit, and I usually have eggs every time for breakfast before a meet. I think I did when I jumped 5-4 both times — so it must work.
What’s your dream vacation spot?
I would really like to go to Italy. Being a barista, it’s made me really like coffee, and they’re kind of known for their coffee, the scenery, the good food.