By Josh Brown
COLUMBUS — Kaili Titley isn’t used to having competition.
Saturday, she found out that she thrives when she does.
“Back in little old Tipp City, I’m always out front,” the Tippecanoe freshman said. “It’s nice to have competition. Everyone went out so fast in the race. It was amazing.”
Titley, who got a taste of state competition on Friday as part of the Red Devils’ 4×800 team, missed a spot on the podium by only 0.29 seconds in the girls 800, finishing ninth in 2:16.91 Saturday at the Division II state track and field meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
“There was a lot of adrenaline still (from Friday),” Titley said. “It was really cool. I’m glad I had the opportunity to run against these girls. They’re all amazing.”
Titley easily won the 800 at Tippecanoe’s conference meet, then added district and regional championships, as well. With it being her first time at the state meet, she wasn’t sure what to expect — and as she fought to keep up with the pack, it pushed her far beyond anything she’d ran to that point, as her previous best time was her regional time of 2:19.36.
“It definitely pushes you to do things you didn’t even know you could do,” she said. “If you’d told me before the race that I was going to run a 2:16, no way would I have believed you. It was so amazing.”
And it’s not even a race she expected to run at the beginning of the year.
“I started off thinking I’d be doing 400s,” Titley said. “I’d never tried an 800 before. Then coach threw me into one … and here I am. I guess I need to be open to trying new races.
“This has all made me super excited for the next three years.”
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.