Orrville senior Karlie Lax was already enshrined in the annuals of Orrville Red Riders list of All-Ohio pole vaulters. Her effort at this year’s state meet simply cemented her among the greatest.
Lax went into the 45th annual girls state track and field championship on June 1 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium with one thing in mind: to win a Div. II state title in the pole vault.
As one of only two performers to clear 12 feet coming into the event, along with Warren’s Erin Bogard, she knew that her chances were good.
However, after clearing 11-10, Lax couldn’t quite make that dream come true, missing at 12-02 and then watching Bogard make the height to win the event.
Lax’s pain was evident on the podium, where she accepted the silver medal, but afterward she realized the monumental achievement she had just completed.
“I guess that 12-02 was not for me today,” Lax said following the event. “I think after my second miss at 12-02, it kind of rattled me a little bit. I get in my own head sometimes.”
Not only was Lax a state runner-up, this also made her a four-time All-Ohioan in the event, an achievement that very few athletes can ever claim.
“That is a great accomplishment,” Lax said. “I am proud of myself for making it down here all four years and making it on the podium all four years. That’s a really good accomplishment, so that is why I am not as upset as I should be. But I really wanted that win. I have been waiting four years for it. I guess it didn’t want me today.”
Lax leaves Orrville as another in a line of unbelievable pole vaulters who have found success as All-Ohioans at state. She said being among those vaulters is special, and she will cherish that.
“It’s amazing,” Lax said. “But I really wish I could have had that title of state champ like most of them have.”
Lax said she will now head to Akron University, where she will continue her vaulting career.
“I’m excited. I’m ready for the college level,” Lax said. “I’m going to be the lowest jumping vaulter there, but there is room for improvement. I’m ready.”