AUSTIN, Texas (May 18, 2015) — A pole vaulter that is blind won a bronze medal with a third-place finish at the Texas state high school championships.
Senior Charlotte Brown has made the state finals three years in a row. She cleared 11 feet, 6 inches on Saturday to earn the medal in Class 4A, one of the state’s largest classifications.
She was joined on the medal stand by her service dog Vador.
She was born with normal vision but developed cataracts when she was just 16 weeks old. That led to the first of several operations, including insertion of artificial lenses. At age 11, her vision started to worsen.
To compete, she counts the seven steps of her left foot on her approach and a beeper tells her when to plant the pole and push up.
Brown will attend Purdue on an academic scholarship, and she hopes to walk on the track team. Her brother Lachlan is a hurdler for the Boilermakers.