By David Fong
COLUMBUS — As it traditionally does, the sun set on another year of high school sports in Miami County at the state track and field meet in Columbus.
Overally, it was a successful showing for Miami County, as local athletes brought home medals in six of 14 events. And even those who did not earn a medal by placing in the top eight still picked up valuable experience and a lifetime of memories by participating in the biggest high school track and field meet the state has to offer.
Here’s a few final notes from this year’s meet:
• For the Record: It was a record-setting day for the Troy girls Saturday, as all three events featuring Trojans saw school records broken.
Junior shot putter Kelsey Walters got things started for the Trojans. On her second throw of the day, Walters popped a personal best throw of 38-9.5, good enough to break the school record of 38-3.5 set by Danielle Wertz in 2001. Walters would just miss qualifying for the finals in the event, finishing 10th overall.
Senior sprinter Gracie Huffman broke her own school record in the 400 for the second time in as many days Saturday. In the prelims Friday, Huffman ran a 57.30 to qualify for the finals. In the finals Saturday, Huffman ran a 57.06, good for seventh place.
Finally, freshman Morgan Gigandet broke her own school record in the 3,200, running a 10:59.79 to take seventh place. She bettered the school record she set earlier this fall when she broke the school mark last set by Nessa Arnold in 1985.
• A Bad Trip: Troy junior Stephen Jones was among the leaders in the 3,200 for much of the race Saturday. As the race neared the end, Jones — sitting around fifth at the time — tried to make a move and take the lead.
As he made his move, however, he was tripped by another runner and fell to the infield grass. The other runner was disqualified and Jones was allowed to finish the race, but by that time, there was too much space to make up and not nearly enough time to do it. Jones would finish in 13th place with his slowest time of the season by the time he got back up and re-started the race.
• Sportsmanship on Display: Miami Valley School’s Taylor Middleton and Mason’s Amaya King had two fans cheering wildly for them at the state meet.
Those two fans also just happened to be their competitors.
At Friday’s Division III long jump competition, Middleton won a state title with a leap of 18-4.5. Following the competition, Troy Christian junior Meredith Haddad — who finished third in the event with a leap of 17-10.5 — couldn’t have been happier for her competition.
“I’m so happy for her,” Haddad said. “She’s worked so hard and she deserves it.”
Before King’s final throw in the second flight preliminaries, Walters was cheering on her competitor, who she led at the time.
“Come on, Amaya!” Walters screamed to her friend and competition.
King threw a 42-1.75 on the ensuing throw, which — ironically enough — ended up knocking Walters from ninth in 10 place, keeping her out of the finals.
“I’m happy for her,” Walters said. “She’s a great thrower.”
• Team Results: In Division I, Pickerington North won the boys title with 52 team points, while Mason was second with 28. For the girls, Cincinnati Withrow and Gahanna Lincoln tied with 50 points.
In Division II, Dunbar won the boys title with 64 points, while Lake Catholic was second with 40. Liberty-Benton won the girls title with 45 points, while Meadowdale was second with 32 points.
In Division III, Warren JFK won the boys title with 48 points, while Maplewood was second with 37. Saint Thomas Aquinas won the girls crown with 69 points, while Minster was second with 58.
Contact David Fong at [email protected]; follow him on Twitter @thefong