By Josh Brown
COLUMBUS – Two laps into the girls 3,200, everything was going according to plan.
Then Caledonia River Valley’s Hannah Campbell threw a monkey wrench into it.
With Tippecanoe’s Allison Sinning and Oakwood Mary Kate Vaughn at the head of the race, Campbell decided to take off and built a huge lead to start the third lap, and while Sinning did what she could to catch up, there simply was no catching Campbell as Sinning finished second at the Division II state track and field meet Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
“I’m actually really happy with it,” Sinning said of the state runner-up finish. “I know everyone dreams about winning state, but I’m happy that Hannah won. She’s a really good competitor, and we’ve been close competitors for the last couple years now.”
Campbell won in 10:40.5, while Sinning was second in 11:03.53. Another part of that group that has competed with each other throughout state cross country and now at the state track meet, Wauseon’s Taylor Vernot, was third in 11:11.44, while Vaughn finished all the way back in seventh.
But it was Campbell’s move that set everything in motion.
“I had no idea how she was going to run the race,” Sinning said. “She came over from another region. When she made her move, I thought it was the smartest move ever.”
Campbell, running third at the time, sprinted out in front of the pack and then maintained a strong pace from there, and the race was never in question again.
“At first, I thought ‘what is she doing?’ But then I realized and knew it was a smart move. She knew we were just holding the pace, so she jumped out ahead.
“Really, I wanted a better time. That was all I wasn’t happy with. But with her going on the third lap and me not going with her, I pretty much ran by myself the whole second half of the race.”
But it wasn’t just Campbell’s on-the-track ability that Sinning admired.
“She’s not just a great competitor, she’s a great person,” the Tippecanoe senior said. “Before the race, she gathered us all together and asked us to pray. That’s such an important thing to me, too, so I thought it was just an amazing thing to do.”
Which made a runner-up finish a lot easier to be happy with.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 440-5251 or email@example.com, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.