Ecstasy and agony dominated the final day of the Division I and II state track and field meets for area athletes Saturday at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
The top eight placers in each event earn All-Ohio honors.
Tri-Valley sophomore Kaylee Antill was the highest placing area athlete, setting a school record with a second-place throw of 148-feet-4 in the Division I girls discus. Junior teammate Collin Prouty took fifth in the boys discus with a throw of 176-2.
Zanesville junior Tiara Wiggins placed fifth in the Division I girls 300 hurdles in a time of 44.46, and Tri-Valley junior Jade Hawkins tied for eighth in the pole vault after clearing 11-0.
West Muskingum junior Lauren Paul took third in the girls 1,600 in 5:04 and Sheridan junior Matt Bromley was fourth in the boys 1,600 (9:34) to lead Division II participants. Paul was 16th in the 800 (2:25).
Antill wanted to climb the podium after an eighth-place finish in the event as a freshman. She delivered as defending state champion, Olentangy Orange senior Katelyn Daniels, won with a distance of 161-7.
“I was a little optimistic heading in after seeing where everyone was seeded,” she said. “You never know when you get here how everyone will throw. My hard work paid off. The state is one of the best places to have a (personal record).”
The atmosphere also got the adrenaline flowing for Antill.
“This is a great environment with all the fans here,” she said. “I had a lot of support, and I wanted to represent the MVL and Tri-Valley.”
Paul and Bromley, both juniors, entered as favorites to place in the distance races and didn’t disappoint. Paul stormed a personal-record 5:04.9 in the 1,600 for third. Bromley set a school record with a 9:34.1 in the 3,200, good for fourth.
Both runners “outkicked” their closest competition in the final 100 meters. Paul made up three places in the final 200 and Bromley went from sixth to fourth.
They said running mid-distance events — both ran the 800 and 1,600 this year — helped prepare them for strong finishes. It was their second All-Ohio finish in as many seasons.
“Last year, I learned to go out fast and trust your training throughout the race and hope it pulls through,” Paul said. “It’s hard. You have four laps, and it feels a lot farther when you’re running it. My arms started to go numb, but you just push through it.”
Bromley said he was disappointed with his finish but proud he broke the school record. The previous mark, set by Jay Arn in 1981, was 9:35.6.
“I lost to two of the guys I beat in cross (country), so that’s disappointing,” Bromley said. “But I broke a school record and you can never be disappointed in that. That record was older than I am.”
Bromley thanked coaches Adam Huffman and distance gurus J.D. Walters and Bart Smith for helping him improve his weaknesses. Adding closing speed was a priority after finishing third at the state cross country meet.
“I thought I was in great shape to run well,” Bromley said. “It didn’t go as well as I’d have liked for it to go, but it could have been worse. You don’t want to change anything up for the state meet. It’s been working all year so you have to stick with it.”
Antill was joined by junior teammates Collin Prouty and Jade Hawkins on the podium. Prouty was fifth in the discus with a school-record throw of 176-2 and Hawkins took eighth in the pole vault at 11-0.
Hawkins joined Macey Warner as All-Ohio pole vaulters for the Scotties.
“Those kids all worked so hard to get where they are,” Tri-Valley coach Bryan Mount said. “We started throwing the shot in January, and it’s been nonstop ever since. They all earned their way up here.”
Prouty was throwing against a pair of Ohio State football signees in Austintown Fitch’s Billy Price, who was second in 184-4, and Lancaster’s Kyle Trout, who was eighth in 174-6.
“That was my first throw, and it really put me in a good spot,” Prouty said. “It really helps me to see good competition and be able to compete against good competition for next year.”
Lakewood St. Edward’s Aaron Zedella had a throw of 196-6 to win the title.
“Coming up here, I was just hoping to qualify,” Prouty said. “To get fifth is just an amazing feeling right now. It’s overwhelming. It’s nice to see all the hard work pay off. All the support I’ve had up here from my coaches and (teammates) throughout the season has been amazing.”
Wiggins broke her school record for the second consecutive time in Columbus, trimming her 44.82 in preliminaries to 44.46 in the final. She made up three places in the final 200 and finished fifth overall.
“I actually got the place I thought I was going to get,” Wiggins said. “I just had to keep pushing and pushing and pushing. I just had it in my head and saw what lanes we were in, I just felt like I would get fifth. Of course I wanted to get first. But that was my goal, to get fifth.”
Wiggins was proud she got to the podium.
“I just wish more of my teammates could have gotten here with me,” Wiggins said. “I had two of my teammates here too, and that’s all I needed. I want my friend Lasheba Hampton (who runs the sprints) to join me next year.”
Wiggins hopes to break the 43-second mark in 2014. Champion Taylor McDonald ran 42.30 to win the title.
“I don’t want to set my goals too high,” Wiggins said. “But I really think I can do it.”
John Glenn junior Haley Gregory suffered a foot injury in the 100 hurdles and finished ninth (18.54). She fought through the injury in the 300 hurdles and also came in ninth in that event (54.84).
John Glenn junior Rheanna Wilson missed the podium with a ninth-place finish in the girls 1600 (5:11). Maysville senior Alex Presley just missed the final in the Division II boys discus, placing 10th (158-9).
John Glenn junior Emily Brown was 14th in the long jump (15-4), John Glenn senior Woody Jamiel took 14th in the boys 1,600 (4:40) and Sheridan freshman Natalie Eberts was 16th in the girls pole vault with no height.