ARCADIA – Some smiles never fade.
The widest grin spread across the face of Canyon’s Rachel Baxter as the competition rolled on and well after it had ended.
That’s because the Comanches junior set the state record with a clearance of 14 feet, 2 inches in the pole vault in Saturday night’s Arcadia Invitational.
Call the smile symbolic of the season that Baxter has put together. She earned a national age-group record by conquering 13 feet, 10 inches at the Triton Invitational on March 19. When she matched that mark Saturday, it broke the meet record.
All eyes were on Baxter at that point, who said she was nervous, but excited by the attention.
“Having everyone watch me is kind of nerve-wracking, but I think it pumps me up to help me get over those bars,” she said.
On her next attempt, the junior cemented her spot in state history. Her 14-2 clearance places her fourth in the nation all-time among high school vaulters.
“The 13-10, it tied my (personal record),” Baxter said. It gave me that confidence that I can get over it twice. By how much I cleared that, I knew that I could get the 14-2.”