Baylor track & field star rewriting the NCAA record book in 2021
The top two indoor pole vault records in NCAA history now belong to a Baylor Bear.
KC Lightfoot, a junior on the Baylor track and field team, is off to an incredible start in 2021, setting the NCAA men’s indoor pole vault record — then besting that mark just two weeks later.
“It’s been a good start to the year,” Lightfoot says — an early frontrunner for understatement of the year.
On January 16 in Lubbock, Lightfoot cleared the 19 foot, 5.75 inches (5.94 m) mark to set a new NCAA indoor record. That vault broke the Baylor program record (which he already held) by 4.25 inches and made SportsCenter’s top 10.
— Baylor Track & Field (@BaylorTrack) January 17, 2021
Afterwards, he said he was “expecting some bigger bars to come,” and he delivered. Back in Lubbock two weeks later, he made sure his previous record didn’t last very long. On his second attempt at clearing 19 feet, 6.25 inches (5.95m), he cleared the bar and broke his own NCAA indoor record. Currently, his 5.95m mark is tied for the best in the world this year with 2012 Olympic gold medalist Renaud Lavillenie of France.
The track & field world is taking notice: he’s been named the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week, USATF Athlete of the Week, and Big 12 Athlete of the Week (twice) — the fifth and sixth times he’s been so honored, more than any other track & field athlete in Big 12 history.
Baylor Track & Field has a long legacy of excellence, in both NCAA events and the Olympics, with legends like Michael Johnson (BBA ’91) and Jeremy Wariner being just two of the many Bears to shine in the games over the years. Lightfoot has his sights set on the Olympics as well, with last year’s Tokyo games postponed until this coming summer.
Baylor has two more events before the Big 12 Indoor championships (also in Lubbock), providing plenty of opportunities for Lightfoot to keep raising the bar before the NCAA Indoor Championships in March.
Sic ’em, KC Lightfoot!