It was an appropriate way for Michelle McKinney to end her high school career.
One more race. One more history-making moment for Eaton’s three-sport standout.
McKinney won the women’s 800-meter run during the recent Midwest Meet of Champions. Eaton coach Randy McKinney said she was the first female from Eaton to be selected for the prestigious inter-state, all-star event, and the first Eagle to win at the meet.
“It was nice to go out with a win,” Michelle McKinney said. “It was neat to say you were the top senior out of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.”
McKinney finished in 2:14.52 to win the 800 at Granville High School in Granville, Ohio, this past Saturday.
She raced ahead of second-place Erin McDonald of Michigan, who finished in 2:15.02.
McKinney made her move to the lead late in the race.
“She was in second place the whole race until the last 20 meters,” coach McKinney said. “She started to close the gap. She flat-out switched gears and had a nice sprint.
“It was a lot of fun to see her do that. It was a good exclamation point for her. That made me happy right there. It was an exciting race to watch.”
McKinney wasn’t the only Preble County athlete to see success at the Midwest meet.
National Trail graduate Kate Deaton finished fourth in the women’s shot put with a throw of 138-2. Alexis Gray, also of Ohio, won the event with a toss of 147-1.
Seniors are selected for the event based on performances in the state meets.
“It was neat saying the two of us were representing Preble County,” Michelle McKinney said.
McKinney and Deaton will both continue their track and field careers in college at the Division I level. McKinney will compete in cross country and track at Kentucky, while Deaton will throw for Ohio State.
“I thought it said a lot about track and field in Preble County to have two kids representing the state of Ohio,” coach McKinney said.
Deaton was sixth in the discus and 15th in the shot put in Ohio’s state meet earlier this month.
McKinney finished second in the 800 at the state meet. She again set a school record in the process as she finished in 2:10.43.
McKinney owns school and conference records in both that race and the 1,600.
McKinney won the 800 state title as a junior. She is also a tenacious defender in basketball, and helped Eaton win its first SWBL Southwestern Division championship in that sport this past winter.
“I’m glad I ended my high school career with a gold instead of a silver medal,” Michelle McKinney said. “That was a nice way to end my career. Now, I’m ready to go on to UK.”