Army private says high school track practice was ten times harder than basic training

A former Florida high school track athlete says her Army basic training was a breeze compared to her track practices.

Samantha Stelmaszek, a 2016 Class 3A pole vault champion, turned down a scholarship to be a pole vaulter at Southern Wesleyan University in South Carolina because she did not think college life was not structured enough.

So she joined the Army and was sent to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri for her basic training.  On July 19 she graduated and was assigned to Fort Sill in Oklahoma where she is in radar technician school for 40 weeks.

Joining the Army with some college credits allowed her to start her career as a Private First Class.

After basic she spoke to her local news in Clay County, FL, Clay Today, to reflect on her experience at Fort Leonard Wood.

“Track practice was definitely tougher,” said Stelmaszek. “It was 10 times tougher. Track practice and the discipline sure did prepare me to do well in Army boot camp.”

“I don’t know if they know I am a pole vaulter, but I may tell someone and see if I can get back to that in the future,” she said. “I never would have ever thought I would fit in the military, but so far, it has been good for me.”

“My parents and myself thought the U.S. Army might be a good idea because of the structure,” said Stelmaszek. “I was a little worried because I’m kind of clumsy, but the whole environment was very good for me.”

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