A pair of former Hempfield track and field standouts are soaring to new heights at big-time Division I programs.
Virginia freshman Bridget Guy and Penn State sophomore Lexi Masterson are record-setting pole vaulters at their respective universities.
Guy, the 2014 PIAA pole vault champion, quickly established herself as one of the best in the ACC. She set school records in both indoor (13 feet, ¼ inches) and outdoor (13-5 3⁄4) during her freshman campaign.
“It was pretty cool to break a record at Virginia,” Guy said. “I was excited to see how much better I could get. There are girls jumping so much higher than in high school. It took me a while to adjust, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Guy took sixth place at the ACC indoor competition and fourth outdoors.
Masterson also claimed a school record as a freshman at the Big 10 school. Last spring during the outdoor season she cleared 13-3 1⁄2 .
This outdoor season she flirted with setting the mark again but her season-best effort at the LSU Alumni Gold meet was just short at 13-1 3⁄4.
“That record does mean a lot to me,” said Masterson, who was the PIAA runner-up as a senior. “(This season) I was able to stay consistent and close to that.”
At the Big 10 meets, Masterson placed seventh in the outdoor competition and eighth in indoor.
At the latter meet, she cleared 12-11 1⁄2, the second-best indoor height in Penn State history.
Both advanced to the NCAA East Preliminary round in Jacksonville, Fla., this spring. It was there they met up again not as teammates but as competitors. Despite the situation, they found themselves rooting for each other to move on.
“I see what she does and it’s awesome,” Masterson said of Guy.
After catching up with each other in person at the meet, Masterson and Guy both saw their seasons end in Jacksonville.
Throughout the school year, the girls follow each other on social media and stay in touch when their schedules do not allow them to meet up.
Their bond was formed while competing for Hempfield. The Spartans track and field program was a crucial stepping stone for Guy and Masterson. Hempfield is a perennial WPIAL contender and the girls squad claimed its fourth consecutive WPIAL title last month.
Masterson and Guy each appear to have plenty of good meets ahead of them, and they credit their start at Hempfield with getting them to that point.
“I think the program at Hempfield really prepared me to jump at the D-I level,” Guy said.