Blind high school pole vaulter wins medal in Texas

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Blind high school pole vaulter wins medal in Texas
Emory Rains' Charlotte Brown, who is legally blind, competes in the Conference 4A girls pole vault competition at the UIL Texas State Track and Field Championships, Saturday, May 16, 2015, in Austin, Texas. Brown won a Bronze medal with her third place finish. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Emory Rains' Charlotte Brown, who is legally blind, fails to clear the bar in the Conference 4A girls pole vault competition at the UIL Texas State Track and Field Championships, Saturday, May 16, 2015, in Austin, Texas. Brown won a Bronze medal with her third place finish. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Emory Rains' Charlotte Brown, who is legally blind, competes in the Conference 4A girls pole vault competition at the UIL Texas State Track and Field Championships, Saturday, May 16, 2015, in Austin, Texas. Brown won a Bronze medal with her third place finish. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Emory Rains High School's Charlotte Brown, who is legally blind, reacts as she competes in the Girls 3A Pole Vault in the UIL State Track & Field athletics meet, Saturday, May 11, 2013, in Austin, Texas. Rains (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Guide dog Vader stands with his owner Emory Rains' Charlotte Brown, second from left, who is legally blind, before she competes in the Conference 4A girls pole vault event at the UIL Texas State Track and Field Championships, Saturday, May 16, 2015, in Austin, Texas. Brown won a Bronze medal with her third place finish. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Emory Rains High School's Charlotte Brown competes in the Girls 3A pole vault at the UIL State Track & Field meet, Friday, May 9, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Brown, a pole vaulter who happens to be legally blind, starts on the clap from her coach and counts her steps on her approach. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Emory Rains High School's Charlotte Brown, left, competes in the Girls 3A pole vault at the UIL State Track & Field meet, Friday, May 9, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Brown, a pole vaulter who happens to be legally blind, starts on the clap from her coach and counts her steps on her approach. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Emory Rains' Charlotte Brown, right, who is legally blind, sits with her guide dog, Vader, as she waits to receive her award after competing in the Conference 4A girls pole vault event at the UIL Texas State Track and Field Championships, Saturday, May 16, 2015, in Austin, Texas. Brown won a Bronze medal with her third place finish. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Emory Rains High School's Charlotte Brown competes in the Girls 3A pole vault in the UIL State Track & Field meet, Friday, May 9, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Brown, a pole vaulter who happens to be legally blind, starts on the clap from her coach and counts her steps on her approach. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A blind pole vaulter has 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.

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