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Schachne Soars to New Heights

Lexie Schachne has soared where no other Staples girl has gone before - and she’s likely to stay there for a while. The sophomore broke a 10-year-old record in the pole vault at the Irv Black Relays with a leap of 10 feet, zero inches. She has already improved by two feet her best jumps from a year ago.

“I didn’t even know what it was before I got to high school,’’ says Lexie, who also set the indoor record of 10 feet, six inches. “The first time I tried it was in the ninth grade. I thought it was just all-around cool.”

Schachne cleared 8 feet as a freshman and hardly seemed destined to soar past the previous school record. But coach Jesse McCray noticed Schachne had something few other girls had when it came to the pole vault. “Enthusiasm,’’ Jesse says. “She wanted to be good at it.”

Pole vault is a unique event in that requires speed, strength and extraordinary flexibility to glide past the bar in the air. Most track events require speed or strength, but the pole vault is a unique blend that few master. Especially as quickly as the 10th grade. “I think her interest in the event, plus her dedication are a big part of why she’s able to do it,’’ McCray says. “She has the combination of speed and strength that you need.”

The other unique aspect of the pole vault, is, well, the pole vault. There are not many young women who have an interest in the event. In addition to speed and strength, it requires a degree of fearlessness to suspend yourself 10 feet in the air with nothing between you and a landing pit. It is not for the faint of heart. "I don't know why more girls don't try it,'' Lexie says. "It really is fun."

The sky is indeed the limit for Schachne. She has already shown incredible improvement and hopes to go beyond 11 feet before the spring season is over. “This year I’ve just become more serious about it,’’ Lexie says. “I wasn’t even thinking about it last year.” Clearly, her future is up in the air.

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