Jump for joy

COLUMBUS When it was just Paula Wollenslegel and the bar left, she had the perfect mantra.

“Breath in, breath out, pray and go, and believe in yourself,” she said.

It worked in record style.

The Clyde sophomore claimed the Division II state girls high jump crown Friday, clearing a school-record 5-8 on her second try.

She had already won the title because she was the only one of the final three who cleared 5-7. That leap tied Megan Gill’s school record and went about as smoothly as possible, Clyde high jump coach Steve Baker said.

Her first attempt at 5-8, though, was the opposite.

After tying the school record and realizing she’d already won, Wollenslegel said her mind went a little numb.

That led to her awkwardly hitting the bar on the way up.

“All the adrenaline I think was not there any more,” Baker said. “Her 5-7 jump was a 5-9 jump. It was perfect, she just nailed it.”

But he knew she’d get back in the rhythm. Truth be told, he also figured she had at least a solid shot of winning the championship.

“I just had a feeling that she had that potential,” Baker said. “She was very consistent this year. She’d jumped 5-4 numerous times, she’d jumped 5-6 twice before this, and both times she cleared 5-6 by an inch or so, an inch and a half, so we knew that she was right there.”

And now, right there is the top of the podium, a place Wollenslegel had planned to be at some point.

“I thought I’d do pretty well,” she said, “and when there were five of us left, I was like, ‘I really have to go have my A game right now if I want to win.’

“It was my goal to win state not now,” she said, with a smile creeping in, “but now is good.”

Wollenslegel wasn’t the only Flier at the state meet, but she’ll have to wait until this afternoon to see if any others will also find the podium.

The boys 4×200 team of Thomas Davis, Alex Webber, Kaleb Herrera and Collin Rieman reached today’s 1:25 p.m. finals after running 1:29.75 to end fourth in their heat and set a school record.

The top two teams in each heat and the next fastest five overall times advance to the finals. Of the nine entries which move on, only the top eight reach the podium.

The Fliers want even more than that.

“Last year, we didn’t make it out of regional prelims. So our goal was to go to state this year, break the school record, and we just did that,” Davis said. “So, we’re pretty hyped about that. Now the goal is to place top five and get on the podium.”

Davis wasn’t so lucky as an individual.

He finished seventh in his heat of the 200 (22.33) and did not advance to today’s finals.

Bellevue’s Kylie Vogel, Mariah McPeak, Elizabeth Ish and Lauren Turner ended last in their heat of the girls 4×400 (4:11.53) and did not reach today’s finals.

Turner will run in the 800 today at 2:30 p.m. That race had no prelims.