The sky is the limit for Staples High School junior Lexie Schachne . Of course, you could say that about any pole vaulter. The difference is Schachne is clearly gaining on it.
Schachne set the Staples record in the event earlier this year, clearing 11 feet, 6½ inches. She now owns the indoor and outdoor record at the school. She is ranked 53rd in the event by the ESPNRise.com website , which monitors track and field performances. Schachne will take to the skies Friday in the New Balance Indoor Nationals at the Armory in New York City for the final time during the indoor season.
"It's ridiculous when I think about how far I've come,'' Schachne says. "Whenever someone asks me how long I've been pole vaulting, I tell them I've only been doing it since my freshman year. Every time I jump a new height, it's as exciting as the one before. It never gets old."
Schachne won the event at the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference and Class LL championships. She finished second in the State Open on fewer misses. The record fell at the State Open, when Schachne set a meet record in addition to the school mark. She now clears 11 feet consistently.
"I had a pretty rough start to the year,'' Schachne said. "Up until the Class meet, I hadn't jumped 11 feet. I was pretty nervous. I'm not really sure why. I was trying to correct my technique. When you're working on technique, it's a lot harder to put the whole jump together."
During the indoor season last year, Schachne's top height was 10 feet, 6 inches. She has improved by more than a foot, and hopes to soar more than 12 feet next season. She is also hoping for a strong outdoor season, when training can be more consistent and conditions are generally more favorable to records.
She also figures to try her hand at the hurdles. "In outdoor, I definitely want to try more events,'' she said. "My coach (Jesse McCray) says I could be pretty good at hurdles. It will help with my timing; it will be helpful for the team. We don't have many hurdlers."
Before the outdoors, she has unfinished business indoors at the New Balance meet. The top high school athletes in the country will be competing. In an event such as the pole vault, especially, anything can happen. "I've been trying to get to 12 feet indoors,'' Lexie said. "Hopefully I can do that at nationals."
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