Skip to content

Chloe Timberg has vaulted above expectations for Rutgers track & field

Junior pole vaulter Chloe Timberg has seen her fair share of successes for the Rutgers track and field team this season. – Photo by Elliot Dong

Junior pole vaulter Chloe Timberg owns over 20 gold medals, is a four-time Big Ten Champion and holds the current indoor and outdoor school records for the Rutgers track and field team.

Timberg’s successes make her one of the most accomplished Scarlet Knight athletes on the Banks, and she still has a year of competing remaining.

“She’s the full package ... Great student, great athlete, great person,” said Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Bobby Farrell.

Timberg grew up in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where she followed a familiar path that led to field events, starting her athletic career in gymnastics. By the time she reached middle school, Timberg had begun to fall out of love with the sport and looked for something new. Then, while at a high school marching band competition for her brother, she spotted a pole vault meet off to the side.

The rest is history.

Timberg transitioned from gymnastics to pole vault while moving from middle to high school and began to take the sport more seriously during her freshman year. At the same time, Timberg was diving, splitting her time between the two sports before eventually committing solely to pole vault her junior year. 

“That’s when I really started to take off and reach those new heights,” Timberg said.

Timberg attended Central Bucks West High School, which provided her with great coaches, equipment and teammates, setting her up for success.

“I got extremely lucky,” Timberg said. “It can be difficult to excel in an event like pole vault because it really requires a lot of technical knowledge, and a lot of times the high school coaches just don’t have that.”

Aside from great coaching, Timberg claimed that her high school alma mater also provided her with the correct poles, an oversight many schools have when supplying such a small subsect of track and field like pole vault. 

“You either have the pole for a six-foot male vaulter in their senior year, or you have the tiniest pole ever, so it can be hard to find those in between poles,” she said.

As Timberg began to get recruited for college, her personal record of 12 feet 9 inches wasn’t exactly what most colleges were looking for. Timberg also admitted she prioritized her finances when deciding on a school.

“Financially, it was just going to be very difficult to be on a team and pay for an education that way,” she said. “Rutgers set me up with a very good deal my freshman year.”

Going to Rutgers proved to be a decision Timberg wouldn’t regret. Between the facilities, equipment, coaching and teammates, she had nothing but praise for her experience so far as a Knight.

“Having more kids on our vault squad makes it feel like a little bit of a family, and it just kind of holds everyone accountable,” she said. “It’s a great environment to be in, and it really has motivated me to go to that next level and reach for those higher goals.”

Timberg cited senior pole vaulter Nico Morales as one of her biggest motivators. Morales has been at Rutgers throughout Timberg’s college career, and despite the self-doubt and frustration that comes with the sport, he has been there for Timberg as both a friend and a teammate.

“He’s just been extremely encouraging, whether that be just a friend to get my mind off of the frustration or telling me not to sell myself short,” Timberg said.

Aside from Morales, Timberg believes much of her motivation comes from her younger self and her love for the sport in high school.

“I’m really just kind of doing it for her, and I think that a lot of athletes will say they are doing it for their younger selves, but it’s true because you think back to those times,” she said.

During her time on the Banks, Timberg has shattered records year after year in pursuit of one day reaching the Olympics. In her most recent performance at the Penn Relays in late April, not only did she break her school record, but she earned an Olympic standard height of 4.60 meters (15’ 1”) and a spot at the 2024 Olympic Trials.

“It’s going to be very difficult to make the team this year, and that doesn’t mean I’m not going to put every ounce of effort I have into it, but I’m also still a relatively young athlete,” Timberg said.

The 2024 outdoor season draws to a close this month, with the Big Ten Championships taking place in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Those who qualify will attend the NCAA Preliminary rounds in Lexington, Kentucky, at the end of May. The winners from the preliminary rounds will then advance and compete in the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in early June.

The 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track and Field will take place from June 21 to June 30. They will be broadcast on NBC, CNBC, USA and Peacock.

While it is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of Olympic trials and NCAA Championships, Timberg stressed that another of her long-term goals is to maintain a love for the sport, as well paying close attention to her mental and physical health.

“I’ve talked to a lot of senior athletes that fall out of love with it and then doing it just to do it, so I want to make sure that I really keep that passion for what I’m doing,” Timberg said.

With a year left, Timberg will continue exceeding expectations and breaking records, adding to her already impressive college career. Whether or not she makes the Olympic team this year, Timberg is committed to reaching the biggest stage in the world and making her school, her coaches, her teammates and most importantly, her younger self proud. 

“Even just being able to get to go to the trials and get that experience among the biggest of competitors is a really cool feeling,” Timberg said. “I think that will also just kind of rekindle my motivation to say, ‘Hey, I have four more years to lock in, and 2028, that could be my year that I come out and make the team and get to represent my country."

For more updates on the Rutgers track and field team, follow @TargumSports on X.

To view more of Philip Jaccoma's work, follow @PJaccoma on X.

Related Articles

Join our newsletterSubscribe