For Cuyahoga Falls senior Nicole Waibel and junior Nicole Rozsa, the spring ended in similar fashion to last season.
“The Nicoles” are both once again All-Ohioans.
Just like the 2012 season, Waibel and Rozsa finished in the top eight in the Division I pole vault competition at the state meet. The meet took place June 8 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Waibel finished her high school career by taking third place, clearing a height of 12 feet.
Rozsa wasn’t far behind, as she tied for fifth place with Centerville’s Sydney Kay. Both girls cleared 11-feet-9. The height gave Rozsa a new personal record.
Falls girls track and field coach Dan Scourfield said he was satisfied with his two vaulters.
“Third and fifth in the state, that’s not a bad effort,” Scourfield said. “They stepped up. We vaulted well. There was nothing to hang our heads about.”
Unfortunately, the state title for both Nicoles remained elusive as the queen of the pole vault in Ohio the last two years went out with a bang.
Green’s Morgan Estes — the defending state champion in the pole vault — cleared a height of 13-feet-0.25, which established a new Division I and state meet record.
“Estes vaulted really well,” Scourfield said. “She had a miss early that just seemed to wake her up. After that, she was just incredible.”
Kettering Fairmont’s Natalie Uy finished second with a vault of 12-feet-3.
Waibel and Rosza combined to earn Falls’ 9.5 team points at states, earning the Black Tigers a tie for 30th place with Canal Winchester.
Solon won the Division I girls team title with 47 points.
Bound for Youngstown State University this fall, Waibel said she was happy with the way her high school career ended.
“I tied for fifth last year, so I did a lot better than I did a year ago,” Waibel said. “I haven’t hit 12 since the last time I went 12-4, so I was pretty proud of that.”
Waibel noted she was also dealing with a new piece of equipment.
“I also got on a bigger pole today that I’ve only ever been on once and I never practice on,” Waibel said. “I was crushing the other pole, so my coach told me to go up to this bigger pole. I actually have a scar [on the arm] from the last time I used this pole because I ran into the standards.”
“As the bar was going up, she was moving onto bigger poles,” Scourfield said. “She ended up with the biggest one we brought. Her second and third attempts at 12-feet-3 were good attempts. She just missed them. That’s the way we coach them. As the competition moves up, they’re going to change poles.”
Meanwhile, Rozsa was competing in her third state meet of the school year, having reached states in diving and gymnastics during the winter.
Like Waibel, Rozsa switched her vaulting device.
“Last week, I got on a bigger pole and I got on that again this week and that was what got me my 11-9 today,” Rozsa said. “I [got a personal record] with that 11-9 and I was pretty excited about that but, of course, I was hoping that I would be able to do better for myself today [than fifth place].”
“It all came down to misses,” Scourfield said. “Nicole Rozsa had a few misses early. That’s why she ended up tied for fifth instead of tied for fourth.”
Pickerington Central’s Dana Shuff finished fourth, also with a height of 11-9.
Rozsa finished fourth at state last year, but did so with a vault of 11-4.
Scourfield said his goals for Rozsa for next season are simple.
“We’re hoping that she keeps improving the way she has the last two years,” Scourfield said. “The goal is to vault higher, finish higher on the podium and maybe win it. The field for the pole vault is getting better and better. I think 12 girls came in over 11 feet.”