Inside HOKIE SPORTS | Vol. 14 No. 4 | February 2022 29 Rachel Baxter • track & field Q: What has been your most memorable moment at Virginia Tech? RB Definitely winning the ACC Championship in Rector in 2019, because it was my first ACC title, all the alumni pole vaulters came back so the stands were full of vaulters, and it was the new school record and a new personal record. It was the best because everyone was here, and it was such a big meet. Q: What was the experience of competing at the US Olympic Trials like? RB Nerve-wracking. I had been able to jump at the U.S. Championships two years before that, so I had experience jumping with the top girls in the world, but it’s the Olympic Trials so it was definitely nerve-wracking. But it was a really good experience so I’m excited for the next three years post-collegiately, but to be able to represent Virginia Tech on that big of a stage was a really big honor and it was a lot of fun. Q: What expectations and goals do you have for yourself this year? RB I really want to jump 4.60m (15’ 1”), I want that 15-foot bar. I want to break the school record again, and I want to have fun. I want to have a fun last year competing for Virginia Tech, and I’m excited. HUGO MAIA • MEN’S TENNIS Q: You came from Portugal to the United States last year. What has the transition been like? HM Honestly, I thought that it was going to be harder. As soon as I arrived, I felt at home. I have a hard time describing it, but the people that are here to support you at Virginia Tech made my transition to my new home seamless. INSIDE THE HUDDLEFeaturing Hugo Maia and Rachel Baxter Q: What’s your favorite hobby outside of pole vault? RB I enjoy hiking and doing outdoor activities. Getting outdoors even if it’s cold and snowy, it’s fun to be outside and enjoy Blacksburg’s four seasons. Q: What are your strengths as an athlete? RB I like to think I’m a good teammate, I’m a good leader, and I love supporting others. I love these indoor track meets where we’re all cheering each other on and getting to be supportive. Q: Favorite food? RB I like mac and cheese and chocolate, not together though. Q: What’s your favorite thing about this team? RB I think we have a lot of talent and have already started bonding really well. At these track meets I think we can really do something special indoors and outdoors, and hopefully we can bring a couple titles home. Q: What’s been your favorite meal at the SAPC? HM Wing Wednesday Q: What’s been the best memory through one year at Virginia Tech? HM When we played at home against Duke, I clinched the match and we won 4-2. The feeling of competing in for Hokie Nation, seeing my teammates cheering me on, it was surreal and one of my best moments on court ever! Q: What part of your game has improved the most since you started playing in college? HM Physically and mentally are the two parts where I improved the most. From a physical standpoint, I have worked hard in the weight room to improve my strength. As well as just getting mentally tougher on the court to handle adversity. Q: What goals do you have for you and your team this season? HM I want to be healthy and ready to play the whole season. As a team, I would like to make the NCAA tournament. Q: How would you describe the bond you have with your teammates? HM For me it is a family. Before coming to college, I never thought that a group of people could be so close together. We do everything together and everyone has each other’s back. Baxter Maia