Emory Rains High School junior Charlotte Brown cleared 11 feet but missed all three of her attempts at 11 feet, 6 inches today at the UIL State Track & Field Meet.
The performance doesn't separate her from her peers when just looking at the statistics. But seeing her guide dog lead her to the pole vaulting venue and realizing she placed fourth in the 3A state championship made Brown the focus of all the spectators at Mike A. Myers Stadium on Friday.
Brown was born with normal vision but developed problems while an infant. She has no depth perception, sees no color and cannot distinguish shapes. Her range of vision is similar to looking through a tiny straw. She reads Braille and uses a guide dog named Vador. Her coach whistles to help her run a straight line and then signals her when to complete her jump. She measures the distance and counts her steps in an effort to perfect her approach.