Malibu High Pole Vaulting Champ to Attend School in Switzerland

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Malibu High pole vaulter Lucy Thrall, seen here clearing the bar, is getting ready to go to Switzerland for college. Photo by Larry Thrall.

Malibu Sharks senior pole vaulter Lucy Thrall will make her biggest leap in August 

Thrall, a Citrus Coast League pole vaulting champion and one of Malibu High’s five valedictorians, will jump over 6,000 miles away to attend school at Franklin University Switzerland, an American university in Lugano, Switzerland. 

Thrall decided to study at the liberal arts school after a conversation with her parents. Two of her aunts attended the school. The 18-year-old Thrall is looking forward to living and studying in the southern Swiss city that sits on Lake Lugano and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the European country. 

“I’m really excited about traveling and learning new things, meeting new people and seeing new places,” she said. 

Lugano is an Italian-speaking municipality and is about an hour away from Milan, Italy. Thrall, who speaks Spanish, wants to learn Italian and noted that Italy will probably be the first place she visits.

“I’m excited to get on the train and hop around,” she said.  

Thrall’s move abroad comes after her successful senior pole vaulting season for the Sharks. She was the Citrus Coast League’s pole vaulting champion for the third consecutive year and was also named the league’s MVP.

Thrall said garnering the MVP title this spring was exciting.

“All the coaches chose me as MVP,” she said. “That was pretty special. I put in a lot of time and work.”

Thrall won the league championship in late April with a personal best vault of 10 feet, 6 inches. The Malibu boys sprinter Lloyd Bema won the 100 meter dash in 11.71 seconds and the Sharks boys 4×100 relay group won its event in 45.81 seconds. 

Thrall was the only Malibu athlete to qualify for the CIF Southern Section Finals at Moorpark High School on May 14. She posted a leap of 10-6 there as well, which gave her a fifth-place finish in Division 4. 

Thrall didn’t achieve her goal of 11 feet in 2022 but is proud of her leaps this season.

“I was excited to get that high,” she said. “I was jumping almost as high as I wanted.” 

Thrall was recruited to Malibu’s track and field squad because of her background in doing aerial arts at 5 Point Yoga on Civic Center Way. 

The upper body strength Thrall developed from performing acrobatics and dance while hanging from fabrics, her training with Sharks coaches and Cal Lutheran University pole vaulters, and participation at clinics held by UCLA pole vault coach Anthony Curran helped her put 2 more feet on her vaults after making jumps of around eight feet her freshman and sophomore years. 

Thrall also had big accomplishments in the classroom as she will graduate with a 4.6 GPA. 

“I’m very excited to be a valedictorian,” Thrall said. “I have worked super hard in school to achieve this, and I’m happy that the hard work has paid off.” 

Thrall isn’t sure of what she will major in yet in college but is looking forward to the experience of studying overseas. Her friends and family members are also. 

“They want me to take plenty of pictures, and they all want to visit,” Thrall said. “They are all really excited.”