Already more than 15 feet above the ground and pushing himself even higher, Casey McGinn folded his body in an attempt to avoid touching the bar he was vaulting.
When he stopped rising and relaxed his body, blood began streaming under his right eye from an inch-long gash. McGinn had contorted too severely and bounced a knee off his face.
After a trainer told McGinn that he would not need stitches and could continue, he won the Hurricane Invitational with a high mark of 4.85 meters.
“I’ve been known to get pretty dirty when I pole vault,” McGinn said.
Despite his hectic schedule, McGinn excels athletically and academically. An accounting major, he maintains a grade point average of 3.5 and has already secured an internship at KPMG, a company in Orlando.
“This dude’s been offered like four jobs. He’s just got to graduate,” assistant coach Hassan Stamps said. “It’s a hard thing to do. It’s like having a part-time job, plus the travel.”
After his victory in the Hurricane Invitational, McGinn met his parents and girlfriend in the parking lot near Cobb Stadium.
Asked to explain their son’s pole-vaulting prowess, Kevin and Michelle McGinn recalled his earliest sport.
“Casey had a lot of energy as a child,” Michelle said, adding that she and Kevin enlisted Casey in a gymnastics class.
McGinn expressed displeasure with her decision to mention gymnastics.
“I think you have to have no fear being upside down in the air, and gymnastics helps that,” Kevin said.
Standing with Hagen Weintraub, McGinn quickly forgot his embarrassment. He has known her for two years. As a member of Miami’s golf team and a fellow accounting student, Weintraub knows firsthand the difficulty McGinn faces as a student-athlete with demanding courses.
“Accounting is a very tough field. For him to have such a high GPA is a huge accomplishment,” she said. “It’s a huge time commitment just to be an athlete. That’s why most athletes don’t major in accounting.”
Approaching graduation with several job offers and an appealing internship, McGinn is as well-situated as any student in Miami’s School of Business, athlete or not.
Hunter Umphrey may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.