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Bauer reaches new heights in junior year

While some teenagers her age are enjoying a summer with little or no obligations, Lindsay Bauer is using the off time to better herself. She's looking to mold herself into the best athlete she can be.

As if her 2014-15 athletic year wasn't good enough, Bauer has eyes set on taking the next step, yet another leap forward.

In between play in a summer basketball league, the incoming-senior has been training two days a week at Core XL in preparation for her final track season, although that is still seven months away.

Other than a two-week family vacation in mid-July, there hasn't been much down time. But it's that determination and work ethic that has made Bauer into one of the top athletes in the Lehigh Valley. It's that hunger, that fight, which awarded her back-to-back Salisbury Press Female Athlete of the Year honors.

"Now I'm training through the summer, and since I have nothing going on, I can train harder," said Bauer, who has been training at Core XL since September of last year. "So I think that is definitely going to help out.

"It's just strength and flexibility. I work on form for the sprints and everything, so that has definitely helped me a lot. I'm doing that now all the way up until track season."

It's hard to imagine Bauer is striving for an even higher ceiling after the track and field season she had as a junior. But that's what she's using these summer months for.

As a junior, Bauer won three Colonial League gold medals (long jump, triple jump and 300-meter hurdles), finished as the district champ in those jumping events a week later and medaled in both events at the PIAA Track and Field Championships (third in long jump, eighth in triple jump).

While it was nice to add a combined 10 medals from leagues, districts and states, Bauer's main focus has always been to improve on her previous marks and times.

"Getting PRs is usually my focus," Bauer said. "Of course I wanted to repeat as league and district champ in the jumps and everything, and I did that. But then I also surpassed my old marks from last season, which is something going forward into college that really matters.

"It's not always about the medals. It's about self improvement and bettering yourself. But then again, I do like winning and the medals are great motivation."

The medals and recognition certainly don't stop there. Bauer's junior year was filled with memorable experiences.

At the annual Jim Thorpe Olympian Invitational, Bauer placed first in the long jump, triple jump, 300-meter hurdles and 400-meter dash, setting a meet record in those first three events. She also set meet records in the long jump event at both the Tamaqua Blue Raider Invitational and Allen School District (ASD) Invitational. Her mark of 19-2 at the ASD Invitational is the best of any female in Lehigh Valley history. She also holds the eighth-best mark regionally in the triple jump, setting 37-10 at a home meet in the regular season.

"I'm a really competitive person when it comes to sports, and that was a really big meet for me," Bauer said of hitting 19-2 in the long jump. "I missed out on a medal the year before, and I just wanted to prove that athletes from bigger schools aren't always the best. So having the Lehigh Valley record is incredible; I'm so proud and it really does mean a lot."

In all, Bauer collected 18 medals this track and field season. She holds six different school records.

Track and field wasn't the only sport Bauer excelled in. As the point guard on Salisbury's basketball team, she helped guide the team to an appearance in the Colonial League playoffs and the district semifinals. The Falcons were a few points shy of reaching the district championship, which would have guaranteed a spot in the state tournament once again.

"Coming off of last season, we figured we would make it back to states," Bauer said. "So that was a little disappointing that we didn't, but we were still really proud of ourselves. We had a winning record. Now we just have to rebuild for next year."

Rebuilding will be easier said than done. The upcoming season provides a whole new challenge for the Falcons and Bauer, who ranked sixth in the Colonial League with 323 total points (12.9 points per game). Salisbury graduated four senior starters, including all-state selection and 1,000-point scorer Meghan Eripret, leaving Bauer as the lone returning starter.

But she is ready for that test.

"It's going to be weird next year without the four seniors who I've been around since I was a freshman," Bauer said. "I am ready for it. In my three years I've been here, I've played with two 1,000-point scorers - Meagan Hrebik and Meghan Eripret. They've both been leaders this entire time. Now that they're all gone, and everyone I've played with since I played as a freshman is gone, really it's just me. And then I have two fellow seniors [Sydney Utesch and Kristen Bucchin]."

Bauer also plays field hockey in the fall, a sport she returned to last year. She led the Falcons with 12 goals, and despite a tough 3-13 season, she expects an improvement in a few months.

"I think we can be better this year," Bauer said. "I just like to improve on our win-loss record from last year. And I think we can do it. It will be fun."

In between everything going on in the summer, Bauer has begun narrowing down her college choices. She's not too far in the process, but she has started sending out recruitment questionnaires.

It's not so much a question of if, but where she'll continue her track and field career after her final high school season. That answer will come soon enough, but there's still much more of Bauer's story to be written at Salisbury.