April 20, 2007
By Matt Olson
Purdue University Sports Information
Purdue University senior pole vaulter, John Porter was born Oct. 23, 1984, and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. Porter graduated from Anderson High School in 2003, where he was a four-year varsity letter winner in football and track and field. He was part of two track and field conference championship teams and finished fourth at the state championships as a senior. Porter was also an All-Ohio and Academic All-Ohio selection as a junior and senior. In his freshman season at Purdue, Porter placed sixth in the pole vault at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships with a season-best vault of 15-11 and had two first place finishes at the Indiana and Indiana State Inviationals. As a sophomore, he finished first at the Gene Edmonds Cup and recorded his second-best vault (4.88m/16-00). An injury in 2005, hampered the rest of his sophomore season. After returning at full strength in 2006, Porter was voted a team captain for his junior season. He placed 13th at the NCAA Mideast Regionals, picked up the bronze medal at the Big Ten Indoor Championships with a clearance of 5.05 meters (16-06.75) and claimed fourth place in the pole vault at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. He set his career mark at the Boilermaker Invitational with a vault of 5.20 meters (17-00.75). Now in his senior season, Porter is a team captain for the second consecutive year. He has grabbed gold four times in 2007 setting his season-high vault at the Boilermaker Invitational (5.06 meters / 16-07.25). At the Auburn Invitational on April 6th , Porter qualified for the NCAA Regionals and landed in first place with a vault of 5.05 meters (16-06.75). He is set to graduate in May with a degree in aviation technology.
Q: What made you decide to come to Purdue?
A: I first looked at the Aviation program because I wasn't the best at vaulting coming out of high school but I knew they had a good program here, so I talked to the coach and he said yeah sure come on and walk on for us.
Q. Do you ever have time to fly while at Purdue?
A: I have all my licenses and everything that I need so I can fly here, but I really don't have the time or the money. Once I get out of college I'm hoping to get checked out and start flying.
Q. How did you first get interested in aviation?
A: I've always been interested in flying since I was small. It was just a dream to fly airplanes. My parents never flew or owned a plane when I was younger it was all my ideA: Some day I would like to own a small Sesta so I can fly around.
Q. Do you get a bigger thrill out of flying a plane or flying through the air during the pole vault?
A: I really enjoy both but if I had to pick one right now I would probably pick vaulting because I know it's going to end soon, which is unfortunate but it's hard to continue to compete at this level. And I can always keep flying for a long time after college.
Q. What is your number one goal as the Big Ten and NCAA Championships draw closer?
A: I definitely want to win the Big Ten outdoors I tied for second at the indoor Championships but now I want to win. I'm ready to jump higher than I ever have, I'm glad I qualified for the NCAA Regionals and got that out of the way but I really need to win big tens and then worry about nationals after that.
Q. What are you going to miss most about Purdue after you graduate?
A: The friends and all my teammates. I have a lot of friends in the aviation program and they are all going their separate ways into different companies and I'm going to really miss them. I'm also going to really miss all my friends on the track and field team; I enjoy hanging out traveling on the weekends and competing together.
Q. What are you plans for after graduation?
A: After I graduate I'm going to work for Big Sky Airlines; I'm going to be a first officer for them. That's going to be a pretty nice job. I just love flying.