Flying with High Spirits

Brigette Muller Radiates Positivity

By Madison Neuner

By the time the 2017 Brown Springtime Invite rolled around, her last chance to qualify for the CAA Championships, Brigette Muller had no-heighted all season. 

A freshman walk-on pole vaulter at Northeastern, she was sure that even if she cleared the bar at this meet, her coaches would have no reason to take her to CAAs – why would they, if she hadn’t yet cleared a bar at Northeastern? But she knew it was her last chance, so she followed her instincts. She cleared 10-6 – the first time she’d done anything – and went on to finish ninth at CAAs.

Her positive, persevering outlook has not failed her since.

When Muller joined the track and field team, her teammates had no idea just how much effect one person could have on the outlook of a whole team. Now, four years later, they admire her ability to maintain a positive attitude in all situations, and it’s contagious. 

“Pole vault is such a mental challenge, and to have someone who’s so positive and who has your back, it’s really helpful,” sophomore pole vaulter Melissa Purcell said.

Muller was a cheerleader in high school, and was an annual attendee of a summer camp where she began to learn and fall in love with trapeze. She only tried pole vaulting in high school because the pole vault coach recommended it. 

“And here we are, eight years later,” Muller said.

Although Muller was admittedly not the most skilled pole vaulter on the Northeastern track team, her teammates look up to her regardless. Ask teammates and friends about Muller, and sentiments of “treats her teammates like family” and the close-knit “pole vault squad” make it clear that she is one of the most respected members of the entire 83-person team.

“People are automatically drawn to Brigette because of how fun and lively she is,” pole vault coach Jacilyn Briggs said. 

The best accomplishment of Muller’s career, according to Briggs, had little to do with pole vaulting at all – she was simply always able to bounce back and push through adversity, and never lost her trademark positive outlook.

Muller’s other trademark is her colorful hair and bright outfits. She “marches to the beat of her own drum,” senior teammate Eliana Sirkin said. “We never know what we’re going to get with Brigette; sometimes it’s pink, sometimes it’s orange, sometimes it’s a rainbow, she redyes her hair like every week. It’s super fun to see what’s going to happen next.” Her style perfectly reflects her personality: bright, colorful and original.

Muller is now a counselor at her summer camp, where she specializes in teaching kids trapeze. “It’s so fun to fly through the air,” Muller said. “It’s nice to be really good at something.” To Muller, trapeze is very similar to pole vault. “They cross paths in a lot of ways.”

Muller’s passion for trapeze fascinates her teammates and coaches. “It’s really important to her, and it’s something that’s unique about her,” Purcell said. Briggs said that this was just another example of how willing and excited Muller is to try anything.

After graduation, Muller plans to spend 15 weeks at the circus camp before travelling around the United States with circus staff. Following that will be what Briggs called her “trapeze escapades”: visiting her best friend’s Listo Trapeze Company in Australia, visiting another friend’s trapeze rig in Thailand, and “trapezing around the world,” Muller said. 

After these adventures Muller will settle down and do another thing she’s wanted to do her whole life: teach physics. She is admired for taking time between college and being a teacher to do trapeze, something she equally loves. 

“You don’t see a lot of people do that; a lot of people just get a job to have a job,” junior pole vaulter Leah Saifi said.

In the end Muller will be remembered at Northeastern for her crazy hair colors, neverending perseverance and contagious positivity.

“It’s an honor to meet someone like Brigette even just once in your lifetime,” Saifi said. “If you know Brigette, you’re a really lucky person.”