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Senior sets school record, achieves personal goals

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Bethany Pouliot has competed in track for eleven years and starts her second year on the campus track team.

As school season winds down and students get in the habit of kicking back and relaxing, some choose to rise above. Senior Bethany Pouliot starts her second year on the campus track team and excels in both her abilities and strengths.

Although only attending FCS since her junior year, Pouliot has made tremendous steps to show her coach and teammates what she is capable of. She started the sport at the ripe age of seven, competing in long jump, triple jump and high jump. Her personal bests in second grade have improved over the years, and she starts her eleventh overall season with high hopes and encouraging words.

Father Michael Pouliot played track during his high school years, where he competed in pole vault, triple jump and sprints. Like father like daughter, Bethany quickly caught on to the sport as she grew up following his footsteps. Michael remembers watching the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games with Bethany and setting up different events for her to “compete” in.

Pouliot has seen his daughter excel in everything she takes part in, especially track. He admires her hard work and her willingness to help other in every way she can. He also sees how she involves God in her daily life and helps others see His work.

“Bethany is a role model on and off the track because of her story,” Michael said. “She has inspired me as her dad by allowing God to bring her from a place of darkness into His light and thank Him for it. Bethany has shown me that even when things go sideways, to trust God’s plan and that He will use our pain for His purposes.”

Pouliot believes her biggest strength is encouraging others, because of the lack of encouragement she received in the past. Pouliot was bullied at her previous high schools for her faith-driven life and upholding high standards for herself. This resulted in extreme social anxiety, depression, and even PTSD from the amount of humiliation and criticism she dealt with.

She uses her gift of encouragement to show others God’s love and care, especially to her peers and teachers at Fresno Christian.

“Since coming to FCS I have come such a long way from my depression to being happier than I’ve ever been and finding so much joy in the Lord,” Pouliot said. “I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to go to this school where teachers and peers love you for who you are and what you’ve been through and pray for you daily.”

In the following podcast, Kamryn Schultz talks to Bethany Pouliot about her track season.

To take part in the physical sport, Pouliot explains what it takes to compete in track and the amount of dedication that is required.

“Track is definitely a mental sport,” Pouliot said. “If your mind isn’t in it and you’re not focused that could mess up your marks or technique. Track is also extremely technical. Some drills I can pick up right away but for the most part perfecting them takes years.”

Kamryn Schultz | The Feather Online

Pouliot recently broke the school record for the triple jump event, jumping 34 feet.

Pouliot’s teammates admire her for her dedication and willingness. Sophomore Alyssa Reese appreciates her positive attitude on the track and her passion for the sport.

“Bethany is like the team mom,” Reese said. “She is so sweet, and can also be tough when she wants to be. She helps out when we don’t get a drill or lift position right, and is always there if anyone needs anything. She makes everyone around her have a good time, and that is really helpful at practice.”

At the beginning of the season, Pouliot hoped to improve her personal triple jump record, and ended up breaking the school record for the event, jumping 34 feet. Her dedication to the sport paid off as she continued to work hard and strive for her goals.

“One of my goals for this season is to make this last season memorable and enjoyable,” Pouliot said. “I love my teammates and I hope that I can keep encouraging and coaching them to be the best they can be.”

Around campus Pouliot is involved in leadership, cheerleading and in her spare time she owns a small photography business. After high school Pouliot plans on studying psychology at Clovis Community College in hopes of getting to show Christ’s love through both family and marriage counseling.

For more articles, read Video journalist returns, invests in Feather video team and Alexander Rurik leads tennis team, encourages others.

Kamryn Schultz can be reached via Twitter and via email.

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