A GAME OF INCHES

Tomball’s Maciejeski driven to reach Austin

Tomball’s Maciejeski driven to reach Austin
Maciejeski owns the fifth-best pole vault in the country and the second-best in Texas. Via VYPE

Originally Appeared on VYPE


HOUSTON – Sometimes a ticket being punched to state comes down to just a few inches.

That was the case for Tomball's Rachel Maciejeski.

The then-sophomore cleared 11-feet-6 inches at the Region III-5A Meet, which ended up being four inches short of clinching a spot at state.

"It was heartbreaking getting third," Maciejeski said. "Wanting to be there at state but I've improved a lot this year and so we're hoping for good things."

The improvement has been noticeable this year.

Maciejeski set a new personal record at the Spring Relays on February 16, clearing 12-feet-10 inches, which was her first meet of the year.

Since then, the junior has reset her personal record by clearing 13-feet-4 inches at the Bluebonnet Relays on March 22.


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Cristian Javier is in better shape this season. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

As the Astros prepare to play their first game of spring training against the Nationals this Saturday, we're starting to see reports about how the players approached the offseason, and what tweaks they made to improve in the 2024 season.

Cristian Javier is a player Astros fans are hoping bounces back this year, as his ERA jumped from 2.54 in 2022 to 4.56 in 2023. Workload was thought to be one of the main factors causing his regression, he dealt with a dead arm last season and threw more innings than ever before (162).

Another explanation could be the pitch clock. This was another new element all pitchers had to deal with last year, and that also likely played a role in his struggles.

But according to The Athletic's Chandler Rome, Javier believes he was carrying some extra weight last season. Add that to some mechanical issues he was experiencing, and his struggles in 2023 make a lot more sense. And to be fair, he wouldn't be the first person to get a little fat and happy after winning a World Series.

In an effort to get back on track in 2024, Javier said he lost around 15 pounds this offseason. With the pitch clock not going anywhere, pitchers need to be in better cardiac shape than ever before.

Hopefully this modification helps Javier return to form and put up jaw-dropping numbers like he did in 2022. This rotation needs Javier to be the dominate pitcher we all know he's capable of being. With Justin Verlander behind schedule and Framber Valdez trying to bounce back from his own down year, Houston will depend on Javier like never before.

The Astros are certainly counting on it after giving him a 5-year, $64 million contract last season. Javier will definitely be a player to watch this spring.

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