Baxter wins NCAA pole vault title

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – The culmination of years of dedicated training and commitment, Rachel Baxter became NCAA champion Friday night by winning the women’s pole vault competition at the 2022 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Baxter earned the NCAA pole vault title with a clearance of 4.62 meters (15 feet, 1.75 inches). Her Friday result also means she earns her sixth All-American honor, tied for second most in Virginia Tech history.

History made
Virginia Tech has now won 18 individual national championships in track and field with Baxter’s victory. The grad student from Orange, Calif., gives the Hokies their first title since 2018 and the first NCAA pole vault title in school history. Baxter becomes one of only two women in ACC history to win the pole vault title, joining Florida State’s Lacy Janson who won the title in 2003.

All time greatness
Baxter has accomplished feats this season that no other athlete has in history. In winning her fourth consecutive ACC indoor pole vault title, Baxter tied the record for the longest indoor championship streak in any event in conference history and became the only female vaulter, male or female, to win four consecutive titles. With her winning clearance of 4.61m (15′ 1.5″) at the ACC Championships, she broke the conference indoor women’s pole vault record and her own school record and passed ranked fifth all-time in the NCAA.

A Vaulted Dynasty
Coach’s Assistant Bob Phillips, who led the Virginia Tech pole vaulters for 37 years, now wins his first national championship thanks to the triumph of Baxter. A Virginia Tech jumper himself in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Phillips set indoor and outdoor school records in jumping and was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. Phillips has one of the most prolific training records in the world. sport, leading athletes to 38 ACC pole vault championships, more than any other school in the conference, and has guided 18 athletes to 53 with All-American honors.

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