Third pole vault podium for Tootle


COLUMBUS — Tayla Tootle finished off her high school career with her third podium finish in the pole vault.

The Logan Elm senior finished in a tie for fourth place after clearing 11’ 10” in the Division II track and field state championships held at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Greenon senior Tru Buddenberg was the state champion clearing 12’ 8”.

Electing to pass on the three opening heights, Tootle entered the competition at 10’ 10” and made it more interesting than she cared for. 

“My first attempt I was shallow. I don’t think my legs were quite warm enough yet, or the adrenaline hadn’t started kicking in,” Tootle said of missing her first attempt at 10-10. “For my second attempt, my legs started warming up and the adrenaline started pumping. So I blew through it and knocked it on my way up. 

“Third attempt, finally had the standards good enough and cleared.”

With that opening height out of the way, she was able to clear 11-2, 11-6 and 11-10 on her first attempts. 

“I was mostly pretty calm,” she said about coming into the meet, “but the third attempt at opening height was pretty nerve wracking. I cleaned up after that.”

There were eight competitors who made it 12-2, but that was the end of the road for Tootle and four others. 

“Today I got on my 12-7 pole, which is what I wanted to do. I was just trying to find the way it was bending and stay with the pole. Sadly, I fell off on my last attempt which is why I didn’t clear 12-2,” she said. “But it was definitely a lot better vaulting today than it was at districts and regionals.”

She won the district but only cleared 10 feet and took second at the regional with a height of 11-4.

Tootle was fifth last year as a junior at Ohio State and placed seventh as a sophomore when the state meet was at Pickerington North. There were no spring athletics her freshman year because of the COVID-19 virus.

“I loved jumping here last year,” Tootle said. “I think ending my third outdoor season here was really nice.”

While her high school career has come to an end, her athletic career has not. Tootle is set to vault for Murray State next season.  

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