Paige Grosel has an angelic demeanor off the track.
But on it, especially when Marietta High's recent graduate is competing in the pole vault event, she's intense and all business.
"Paige is very serious when it comes to pole vaulting," said veteran MHS girls track and field coach Mollie Schramm. "She's very talented and wants to succeed."
Times file photos
Marietta High senior Paige Grosel prepares and then pole vaults. The school-record holder in the event, she will be competing at the Ohio state track and field meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University this weekend.
Last Friday at an Ohio Division I regional at Pickerington, Grosel qualified for state for the second straight year when she pole vaulted 10 feet, 4 inches, which was good for fourth place.
She is scheduled to vault Saturday.
Thing is, Grosel, although happy she'd punched her ticket to the Ohio state track and field meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University, wasn't really pleased with her performance.
"I know Paige would have liked to have gone higher," Schramm said. "But our main goal was just to finish in the top four."
At state this weekend, if Grosel finishes in the top four, she'll earn All-Ohio honors as the Top 8 will get to stand on the podium.
Last year at this time in Columbus as a junior, Grosel was 11th in the pole vault, clearing the bar at 10-6.
"I was nervous," Grosel recalled. "It's a lot different from any other meet just by the sheer number of people who are there.
"I'm used to having my people around me, having all my friends with me there. When you're by yourself with just your coach, it's a little different feel."
"I'm used to being the best or one of the best at every meet that I'm at. This (state meet) is a lot different, because there are people way better than me. There are people that are the same as I am."
The school record holder in the event, Grosel pole vaulted 11-4 at the Marietta Night Relays at Don Drumm Stadium on April 3.
She hasn't soared that high since then but has done "11 feet several times this spring," Schramm said.
An all-around athlete at MHS, Grosel was a standout soccer player for the Jeff Price-coached Lady Tiger booters in the fall.
Her body front flip throw-ins from the sideline will be highlight film material for years to come.
"I've known Paige since she played soccer on the same team with my daughter Betsy through the eighth grade," Schramm said.
Grosel also played basketball until her sophomore year.
"Paige has made sacrifices," Schramm said. "She's had a goal in mind." And, that goal of course was to be the very best pole vaulter she could be.
"Paige is the hardest working athlete," Schramm. "She's usually one of the first to arrive for practice and one of the last to leave. She'll say she wants to do at least one more (pole vault)."
Grosel, whose twin brother Tim is also a standout student/athlete, is also no slouch in the classroom, either. This past Sunday, when the 2012 Marietta High class graduated at the Dyson Baudo Recreation Center at Marietta College, Grosel was third (tied) in her class of 200-plus with a 4.1 GPA.
In the fall, Grosel said she will be attending The Ohio State University to continue her education.
"I love math," she said, "and I'm looking to major in accounting."
Grosel is also thinking about pole vaulting for the OSU track and field team, or playing on a club soccer team. But all of this is down the road a little bit.
First and foremost, now, Grosel has been working out at Don Drumm Stadium this week with hopes of earning All-Ohio honors at the state track meet on Saturday.
"I'm definitely going in with more confidence," said Grosel who already is an all-stater in the pole vault (fourth place) in indoor track. "The pit is set up the same and faces the way I'm used to. It's right in the same area, right inside the track.
"Last year, I was just excited to get there, so hopefully this year I can place and get a medal. It would be a great way to end my high school career."