Vaulting is in Kevin Schipper's blood. Trained as a gymnast at an early age, he naturally followed in his older brother's footsteps, and took up the sport in high school.
"The closest description (to vaulting) I can come to is being on a roller coaster without your seat belt on", Schipper says of the sensation. "You really are flying through the air. The nice part is, you get to land on something soft."
Schipper continued on his older brother Matt's path, by following him to Notre Dame.
"We're very competitive. We were eye to eye. Both of us literally going back and forth in meets."
Older brother Matt was a 3 time BIG EAST champion in pole vault. But by the time Kevin's sophomore year rolled around...he was ready to follow his big brother's example once again.
"As a younger brother it was fun to beat my older brother. The past 7 indoor & outdoor championships have been won by a Schipper in the pole vault."
They last five of those, belong to Kevin...and he has his sights set on #6 this weekend at the BIG EAST outdoor championships.
But the bar he really wants to clear, is a little higher.
"I'm always trying to jump as high as I possibly can. My goal is to make the olympic trails. The standard is 5.5 meters."
Kevin can hit the Olympic standard in practice, and has two more chances to reach it in competition: Once at the BIG EAST tournament and then at the NCAA's.
"The Olympics trials are what I've dreamed about since I started the sport."
And if chasing a lifelong Olympic dream isn't enough, you should know there's a younger Schipper on the Notre Dame track team, raising the bar, so to speak.
"I don't wanna let my little brother beat me, just like my older brother didn't want me to beat him."