Lexie Schachne improved as a pole vaulter this summer.

An incoming senior captain for the Staples girls indoor and outdoor track teams, Schachne competed outside the state against many elite performers. She exceeded her previous personal bests she achieved for Staples and hopes this will give her the momentum when she takes the pole vaulting stage for the Lady Wreckers this winter.

Schachne began her summer swing June 29 by vaulting 12-1.5 in South Carolina at the World Youth trials for a new personal best. Two days later, she jumped 12-1.5 at the USA Track and Field Outdoor championships, also in South Carolina.

"It was good for me to do it because I gained confidence and I knew I was consistent," Schachne said.

Nine days later, Schachne achieved a new personal best and leaped 12-3.25 and won the Junior Olympics Regional Meet in Troy, N.Y., July 10.

"I felt really good," Schachne said. "I've been training and lifting weights throughout the summer and I think it helped."

This qualified Schachne for the national championships. She placed fourth and medaled in it by jumping 12-1.25 in Wichita, Kan.

"It doesn't feel any different than before but the title is an accomplishment and shows that hard work pays off," Schachne said.

Although Schachne won't compete before December, she will work on her form and build her strength for the high school season. Her goal is leap 13 feet.

"I'm very happy with my summer performance," Schachne said. "The meets in the summer were more low pressure and relaxing. I jumped high because the meets were more competitive and people pushed me to jump higher."