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Grothaus follows in footsteps of Grove pole vaulters PDF Print E-mail
Friday, June 07, 2013 11:59 PM

By JIM METCALFE

Staff Writer

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COLUMBUS — No pressure!

Columbus Grove senior Collin Grothaus only had to “live up” to former Division III pole vault champions Heath Nickles (twice) and Tyler Wolfe as he was going for the title during Friday afternoon’s Division III State Track and Field Championships at venerable Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the Ohio State University campus.

Mission accomplished!

He cleared 15-3 on a windy, cloudy and chilly late-spring day.

“They both came to a practice this week and gave me some advice. They joked that I ‘had’ to win,” Grothaus recalled. “It feels great to win and join those guys as champions.”

Grothaus, who was seventh last year, had to alter his strategy some because of the less-than-ideal vaulting weather.

“The wind made me change my plan a little bit; I was going to come in at 13-6 but decided to come in at 13 feet, make a vault and then go from there,” he explained.

He had hoped to do better, especially since it was his finale, and when he had clinched, he went for more using a different pole.

“The only thing is, when I used it before, it was in 84-degree weather; it wasn’t the same,” he added. “I missed miserably on the first two tries at 16-2 and thought I had the third but I didn’t clear it. The state record was 16-1 by Heath and I wanted to try and break it.”

His senior Bulldog teammate, Dakota Vogt, came in second in the boys discus. He wasn’t nearly as pleased after the expectations of placing third a season ago.

“I didn’t throw very well in the preliminaries today but I got into the finals. I went and talked to my coaches and I was told to simply relax,” he said. “I then went out and threw my best today of 169-9 and then the winner threw a 173-footer. What bothers me is I have thrown better this year - well over 180 feet - and didn’t even approach it today. I’m not happy.”

One who was happy was Spencerville senior Lucas Shumate, who finished fifth in that same event with a toss of 154-4 when he was 15th coming into the meet at 150-6.

“I came in with an attitude of nothing to lose. I was down here last year but didn’t place, so I had a good idea of what to do,” he explained. “There are a lot of good athletes here and I just threw with no fear.”

The wind really didn’t bother him, as it apparently did some.

“For me, I simply had to relax and not let the nerves get to me. When you get nervous, you tend to forget your form and rush things,” he continued. “I just had to make sure I kept everything back and not get out in front or get in a hurry. “It’s a good feeling to go out my senior year and end up on the podium. It’s what I’ve been aiming for ever since I was in junior high. I worked hard, especially in the weight room, and it really helped me build my body up and give me more confidence.”

Shumate’s sophomore teammate, Schylar Miller, took eighth in the girls pole vault earlier with a make at 9-6.

“I’m extremely happy. Though this wasn’t my personal best, I got here and placed,” she said. “I was really nervous but I tried to be calm. I used this experience as a chance to get to know things and learn some lessons about what it takes to do well at this level.”

With a young crew of Lady Bearcats returning for next year - save one senior - Miller knows things are looking up.

“I know I have to put more focus into the vault,” she added. “I run cross country, other track events and play volleyball and basketball. I think I’m a good all-round athlete but vaulting is more specific; you really need to work on it and that’s what I plan to do.”

Ottoville senior Anthony Eickholt ended up eighth in the boys pole vault, clearing 13-0.

“I’m glad it’s over. It’s a lot of fun to be here, though, but extremely nerve-racking,” he reflected.

When his day began, the clouds started to part and the sun came out; however, that lasted only briefly and when the wind seemed to pick up, it became more difficult.

“I usually like to vault in the wind but when it swirls like it did today, it’s harder,” he ended. “If it”s with you, you use it to your advantage. If it’s against you, you try and make the best of it. When it swirls, you have to be patient, take as much time as you can and see what it will do.”

Columbus Grove senior Trevor Schroeder placed eighth in the boys shot put with a toss of 52-4.

“I was down here last and saw all the guys we had on the podium and thought that would be great to have happen to me,” he began. “I was nervous but not as nervous as I expected to be for my first time. I did what I had to do against the competition.”

Schroeder had plans to make it this far in another event: the discus.

“I actually am better at that event. I sat down with the coaches midway through the season and we decided to focus more on the discus because of that,” he added. “It’s surprising that I didn’t make it out of Regionals in that but I did in the shot.”

Others that were in final events but did not place were the Lincolnview boys 4x8 relay of Bayley Tow, Jeff Jacomet, Ben Bilimek and Kade Carey, ninth at 8:19.03 and the Grove unit of Jake Graham, Colton Grothaus, Alex Shafer and Alex Giesige, 12th at 8:20.09; Grove junior Megan Verhoff, 12th in the girls discus (114-3); Ottoville senior Tammy Wannemacher in the girls shot put; and St. John’s junior Spencer Ginter (boys shot put).

Those that made it out of Friday’s preliminaries were the Fort Jennings 4x2 girls crew of junior Emily Grone and seniors Lori Bruskotter, Kaitlin Stechschulte and Macy Schroeder, fifth (1:46.58); the Lady Musketeer 4x4 quartet of Stechschulte, Bruskotter, Schroeder and senior Elaina Maag, fifth (4:03.66); Spencerville sophomore Kacie Mulholland, fifth in the girls 400-meter dash (58.09); Grove’s girls 4x1 of freshman Raiya Flores, junior Julia Wynn, senior Jessi Smith and sophomore Sydney McCluer, sixth (51.12); Jefferson senior Cody Biglow, eighth in the 110-meter boys hurdles in 15.20 (he later false-started in the 300s); McCluer, ninth in the girls 100-meter hurdles (15.67); and Grove senior Derek Rieman, ninth in the boys 300-meter hurdles (40.40)

Those who did not advance out of the prelims were Collin Grothaus, 11th in the 300 hurdles (40.86); Spencerville junior Anthony Schuh, 13th in the 110s (15.61); Crestview freshman Isiaah Kline, last in the boys 400 meters (53.42). the St. John’s 4x1 boys of sophomore Nick Mariz, seniors Will Buettner and Ben Youngpeter and junior Luke MacLennan (did not finish); and Rieman, who did not finish in the 110s.

In the Division II ranks, the Van Wert boys 4x8 of sophomore Connor Holliday, junior Seth Kopp and seniors Kase Schalois and Jared Fleming rallied to finish fourth in a school-record 7:54.57 in the finals.

In the prelims, the Cougar 4x4 of Seth Kopp, Fleming, sophomore Quincey Salcido and sophomore Nick Krugh qualified sixth in a time of 3:24.77 but its 4x2 of Krugh, Kopp, senior Kavon Pierce and junior Terrence Branson didn’t move on, finishing 12th (1:31.44).

The Elida 4x4 - having its first male state runners in a long time - of senior Brandon Stinson, sophomore Clark Etzler and seniors Nick Pauff and Quentin Poling qualified third (3:22.64).

The lone Lady Cougar in action this day, junior Amanda Clay, qualified ninth in the girls 400 (58.86).

 

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