Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for Corinne Henderson.
The recent 2019 Aurora graduate couldn’t find any rhythm in her favorite sport for much of the season.
And yes, she was extremely frustrated.
"It was a slow start to the season with not the best weather, a new coach and finding the right-size poles," Henderson said.
Fortunately, the last three weeks of the spring gave Henderson a fresh start after a not particularly satisfying regular season.
It’s safe to say she’s pretty satisfied now.
Henderson concluded a stellar career with a 17th-place finish in the pole vault at the Division I state track and field meet. The state competition took place Friday and Saturday at The Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
Henderson, a two-time state qualifier who also reached the district competition in gymnastics during the winter, reached a height of 11 feet.
She just missed clearing the bar at 11-6, which would have broken her own school record. Henderson set a school record with a vault of 11-3 at the district competition last month in Austintown.
"She told me, ‘If I had one more jump, I knew I would get it,’" first-year Greenmen head coach Kory Rorabaugh said. "It was bittersweet. There was a little bit of disappointment."
Henderson didn’t leave the stadium with bitter feelings. She certainly appreciates the overwhelming challenges of reaching the state meet for the second consecutive year.
"It was an amazing two days in Columbus," Henderson said. "I had a lot of fun with my teammates and coaches.
"My goal was 11-6 and knowing I wouldn't clear it on the pole I was on, I tried a new pole. I almost got it on my third attempt. I wished I could have broken the school record one last time."
Henderson found her rhythm when she needed it most. More importantly, she found her pole.
"Two days before the state meet, I started on a new pole," Henderson said. "Just like last year, I waited to peak until the postseason when it counted so that was exciting.
"Beating the school record again and qualifying for states were definitely two of my goals for the season and I'm happy I was able to accomplish both of them."
Since Rorabaugh just joined Aurora this spring, she didn’t spend a ton of time with her star pupil. Nonetheless, the short time she spent with Henderson is something the coach will appreciate forever.
"She’s great," Rorabaugh said. "She’s an excellent kid, she comes from a great family and she’s an excellent student.
"This being my first year, I couldn’t have landed in a better place. The seniors were great and there are some tremendous athletes."
Henderson could continue her vaulting career at Miami University in Oxford. Whether that happens is still to be determined.
Her high school career, on the other hand, has left a legacy that will be difficult for future Greenmen to match.
"I'm glad to have ended my senior year the way I did," Henderson said. "Both my gymnastics season and my track season were the best of my four years.
"I got stronger each year and peaked at the right times. Competing for Aurora has been a great experience and I'm grateful for all the opportunities Aurora has given me."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.