The spotlight shines brightly over senior Nicole Cho as she takes a deep breath before going to perform her solo. Whether she is singing for her a cappella group High Fidelity or her church’s praise band, you can always find her center stage. Before she goes to rehearsal, Cho hears her coach blow the whistle for her turn to jump in pole vault… or maybe it was for gymnastics? No, probably diving. Cho is not only one of the most involved students here at west, but she is also a stellar student.
Outside of school, Cho is very involved with her church, and she is also in her church’s praise band. Inside of school, aside from all the honor and AP classes she takes, the list goes on as to what Cho does.
“Being on the diving team was more to help out with pole vault, and same thing with gymnastics,” Cho said.
When the school year first begins, Cho is on the diving team. The form and the motion of your body while doing gymnastics is very similar to that of pole vault. When Cho’s sophomore year came around, she decided that she would also try out for the Gymnastics team to help her out with her pole vault career. Cho stuck with bars the most out of the season which, out of all four events, is the most similar to pole vault. Besides pole vault, Cho has also tried other events within track like long jump and triple jump.
“Freshman year at the summer track camp while doing sprints the coaches asked who wanted to try pole vault and I actually tried so I could avoid running, I thought it was fun so I stuck with it,” Cho said.
No one could’ve guessed that this would be the sport Cho fell in love with. Coach Jim Lonergan saw the passion she had for vaulting and knew she was one of a kind.
“Nicole has done everything an adult could hope for a young person to do. She found and discovered something in high school which intrigued her. She tried it and found out she liked it. Then she did everything she could to excel in this interest. And in doing so, she discovered much about who she is and who she wishes to become,” Lonergan said.
Cho has now broken multiple school records for her vaults — not only at West, but at the other schools she competes in as well.
There is every reason to believe that Nicole will be a pole vault state medal winner this year, the first to do so in Niles West’s history. Besides pole vaulting, Cho is an active member in her church’s community, which led to her love of singing.
Cho decided to start singing when her mother encouraged her to join their church’s children’s choir. As a result, she found her passion for performing. Throughout elementary school and junior high, Cho continued to sing by participating in her school’s talent shows and joining their choir.
“I think I enjoy orchestra the most to be honest, just because I’ve been doing it for so many years. I’ve been playing violin for forever so I excel at that the most, and I’m also first stand and have been for all four years,” Cho said.
Masters Choir is also something Cho is involved with.
“Well I’ve known Nicole for over 10 years now and she takes on so many activities and leadership positions yet handles it with ease. But, an admirable part of her is that she never boasts even though her accomplishments are well deserved to be shown off,” senior and best friend Deborah Kim said.
Aside from all the activities and sports that she is involved in, Cho is also a leader — she shows leadership in all things she does, from positions like track captain to Vice President of the NHS exec board. She’s someone to look up to in Orchestra, and a cappella.
“She has lead the way to giving Niles West pole vaulting an identity, and she leaves Niles West with a legacy of a willingness to discover new things, of working steadily to excel, and of assisting others in pursuing their dreams,” Lonergan said.