|State track winds up for local athletes|
|Monday, June 10, 2013 12:58 AM|
By JIM METCALFE
COLUMBUS — Eleven Tri-County track and field athletes ended up on the podium (top-8 finishing) during Saturday’s State Track and Field Meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Leading the way in Division III was the Fort Jennings girls 4x200-meter relay of Emily Grone, Lori Bruskotter, Kaitlin Stechschulte and Macy Schroeder that ended up fifth (1:46.28).
“We’ve faced a lot of high expectations this year from coaches, parents and from within. We knew we had the ability; we just had to do it,” Schroeder noted.
“The pressure to get here was actually bigger; once we got here, that was off and we could just run. We’re extremely happy to finish fifth with such good competition here,” Stechschulte said.
As the lone junior, Grone knows it won’t be the same next year.
“I had three great seniors to run with and it was a lot of fun. We won’t be the same without them but I have this memory for the rest of my life,” she added.
Later, the Lady Musketeer 4x4 of Stechschulte, Bruskotter, Schroeder and Elaina Maag ran their final race together and finished sixth (4:03.69).
Bruskotter noted how she ran through the pain of shin splints, especially in the finale.
“We had a slow start but you just try to do the best you can. You really can’t do anything about it but gut it out,” she added.
Afterward, the reality of the finality of their high school careers sank in.
“It’s bittersweet. We had a lot of fun over the last four years and we finished on the podium,” Maag began. “We did some things that were never done in our program before in our four years but it’s over now. We’ll try to keep in touch but as we go our separate ways, it’s going to be tough.”
Schroeder is the only one that plans on running at the next level for Indiana Tech.
“We’re happy we ended up here in two events and got on the podium. Outside of winning, we are pleased with that,” she added.
Spencerville sophomore Kacie Mulholland nabbed fifth in the girls 400-meter dash (57.90).
“My personal best was 56.80, so I didn’t match that today. However, it was pretty hot and we hadn’t really had a chance to get used to that,” she began. “As well, the nerves were tough to deal with; you just aren’t used to this many people and this much excitement. Still, I’m happy to place fifth. It gives me some incentive to train harder in this event. I know I can do better because I’ve already done it. We have a lot of younger girls coming back and we should be pretty good in the relays especially. I got a good taste of what it takes to do well here.”
Columbus Grove senior Jake Graham took fifth in the boys 1,600-meter run (9:29.84).
“I broke my personal record by 10 seconds and the school mark by four. I am extremely happy how I ran and finished,” Graham said. “I was disappointed that I didn’t set the mark last week at Regionals because I really wanted to but I really wasn’t pushed. Today, I was pushed and that makes me go harder. I respond to tough competition; I knew there were a couple of guys that were well out there and would be tough to beat but that’s a challenge as well. The warmer weather we had today didn’t bother me at all.”
That mindset will work well for Graham as he heads to Lake Erie College to continue his career in both cross country and track.
Jefferson’s Cody Biglow grabbed eighth in the boys 110-meter hurdles (15.27).
“I wanted to win a state title but I’m not disappointed. I worked hard to get here and am happy to make it to the podium,” Biglow said. “For me, you have to be at the top of your game and it’s still going to be a battle. You had a bunch of other guys just as good as I am and wanted it just as much. They worked hard and ran well, too.”
Biglow was able to put the disappointment of false-starting in Friday’s 300-meter semis behind him.
“If you let that bother you, you won’t have a chance in other races. I put that behind me,” he added. “My focus today was on nothing but running my race, not worrying about the competition and doing the best I could. I did that, so I’m happy. I hope to continue my track career in college but I haven’t made up my mind yet as to where I am going.”
Sydney McCluer finished eighth in the girls 100-meter hurdles (15.95) and later anchored the Lady Bulldog 4x1 relay (Raiya Flores, Julia Wynn and Jessi Smith) to eighth (50.81).
“I didn’t mind running in lane 9. I didn’t have anyone to worry about to my right and that was kind of nice,” McCluer acknowledged. “My goal was to just get on the podium, so I knew I had to catch at least one runner because I had the slowest time coming out of the semifinals. It feels good to get a podium finish and just gives me more incentive to work harder, learn what I can from today and come back next year.”
Smith, the only senior in the group, summed up the feelings of the 4x1 quartet.
“It’s taken us a while to really get this team together. The coaches spent the first part of the season trying to use different people in different combinations to find the right group,” she noted. “About midway through the season, they put us together and it just worked. We just kind of knew this was the foursome that worked the best and we’ve clicked ever since. It was a lot of fun to get here because no one really thought we could, so that was nice to beat expectations and place.”
Grove senior Derek Rieman was eighth in the boys 300-meter hurdles (40.44).
“My PR was 40.01, so I didn’t get that. Still, I ended up eighth, so I’m happy with that,” he said. “I fell in the 110s yesterday in the semifinals — I hit the first hurdle — and my left hip and calf were really sore later in the day and waking up this morning. I qualified ninth for this event and all I wanted to do was move up at least one place, so I just had to put that soreness out of my mind. I did that. Now I can start getting ready — after I heal up — for football at Ohio Dominican.”
Those that did not make the podium were Crestview sophomore Mycah Grandstaff, ninth in the boys 3,200 (9:49.65); and Lincolnview’s Bayley Tow, 12th in the boys 1,600-meter run (4:31.99).
In Division II, Elida’s boys 4x4 of Brandon Stinson, Clark Etzler, Nick Pauff and Quentin Poling was eighth (3:23.44).
Poling, a senior, expressed disappointment in the finish.
“We ran OK but I stumbled around the turn. I didn’t do a good job of containing the inside lane and it cost us,” the Ohio University recruit (football) said. “It was 23 years since we had a male athlete run at state, so we can take a lot pride in that and that we made the podium. It would have been nice to finish better.”
“This was my first year of track. I enjoyed it And wish I had done it before,” the senior Stinson said.
Etzler will be the only one of the four back next season.
“These guys were great to run with and they will be missed. We have some big shoes to fill,” he added.
In Division II, Van Wert’s Jared Fleming grabbed third place in the boys 1,600-meter run (4:15.29). He later came back to anchor the sixth-place finishing 4x4 relay (Seth Kopp, Quincey Salcido and Nick Krugh - 3:23.31).
In between, he could not defend his 2012 championship as he finished 16th in the boys 800-meter run (2:02.31).
Van Wert’s Amanda Clay was ninth in the girls 400-meter dash (58.96) and Alexis Dowdy was 10th in the girls shot put (38-5).
|Last Updated on Monday, June 10, 2013 9:58 PM|