Athletes from all over the state of Ohio gathered to compete in the OHSAA’s State Track and Field meet that began on Friday morning at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium located on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Several local athletes competed in the state meet with the goal of being able to make the podium at the end of the day. The podium is the top eight placers in each event. At the end of the day, three locals had made to the podium and one of them made it to the very top in the number one spot.
The day started with Hillsboro’s Austin Goolsby and the pole vault, which kicked off the meet at 9:30 a.m. Goolsby came into the state meet having vaulted a height of 14-09 in the regional meet. Of all of his competitors, Goolsby was the lone sophomore surrounded by juniors and seniors. That didn’t stop Goolsby from not only breaking his own personal record by a long shot, but also setting a new Hillsboro High School record and fighting his way to the final two vaulters and getting a runner-up spot on the podium with a height of 15-08. Goolsby had three attempts at a height of 16-00 but failed to get over the bar cleanly. His opponent was able to get it on the first try, therefore giving him the first place spot.
“This is unbelievable,” said Goolsby after stepping down from the podium on Friday. “I’m shocked. I’m just really excited. The adrenaline kicked in for me today and it was just a good day for it. First I want to thank Jesus. I’m out here praying every single time I run down the runway. It just builds up my confidence and He helps me so much. I also want to thank my family for helping me out so much and all the coaches who have been there for me.”
The next athlete on the podium was Lynchburg-Clay’s Bailey Leininger who finished sixth in the discus throw with a distance of 133-11, setting her own new personal record with her second-to-last throw.
“There was a lot more people here and a lot more tension than I thought there would be but I just tried to stay calm and pretend like it was practice,” said Leininger after her event. “I didn’t expect to make the podium and actually, after my first three throw, I didn’t even expect to make the finals. So it’s pretty cool to get out there and get a new PR (personal record). I want to thank Jim Horne for supporting me like he always does and working with me and my coaches and my family for their support.”
The final placer of the day was McClain’s Kaylee Hurley who not only made the podium but made it to the very top as the state champion in the seated shot put with a personal record throw of 18-04.75, over two feet better than her qualifying throw of 15-05. Hurley will now try for a championship in the 100, 400, and 800 meter seated races. She was runner-up in all three last year.
Competing tomorrow after placing high enough in the preliminaries is Hillsboro’s Mackenzie Conlon who placed sixth with a time of 39.42. He will now race in the final Saturday at 1:05 p.m. He failed to make it to the finals in his 110 meter hurdle race, finishing 14th with a time of 15:37.
McClain’s Cody Hardesty will also compete in the finals tomorrow (Saturday) in the 800 meter run which is set to be ran at 2:30 p.m.
Also competing on the day were McClain’s Jhaela Coleman and Alex Hollar, both in the 100 meter dash. Hollar and Coleman both finished in 15th placed with time of 11.26 and 12.68 respectively.
Hillsboro’s 4×200 relay team consisting of Mackenzie Conlon, Anthony Anderson, Luke Gallimore, and Braden Wildey, place 15th in their event with a time of 1:33.21
Fairfield High School’s Brandtson Duffie, Trent Swisher, Matthew Mangus and Noah Richmond also placed 15th in their event, the 4×800 relay, with a time of 8:44.43.
The state track meet will continue tomorrow Saturday, June 4 starting at 9:30 a.m. Pick up a copy of Tuesday’s Times-Gazette to see results from Saturday’s finals or check out the website on Saturday night.
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.