State field finals: Lehman’s McFarland finishes first in girls pole vault


COLUMBUS — It was a show worth the price of admission.

Lehman Catholic junior pole vaulter Katie McFarland and Ansonia junior Colleen Steinmetz put on a show worth the price of admission Friday afternoon at the Division III state track and field meet.

And in the end, it was McFarland on the top of the podium — in just her second year of competitive pole vaulting — and Steinmetz taking second.

“I didn’t even qualify for state last year,” McFarland said. “I went from that to winning the state title. I think that is about as good as you can do.”

The two were the only vaulters to clear 12-0 and 12-4, before McFarland got 12-8 on her third attempt to win the state title.

“I like vaulting against her (Colleen Steinmetz),” McFarland said. “I think we make each other better. Competition is a good thing.”

The two went back-and-forth making big jumps.

Both had a long wait before getting in at 10-8 — and later there was long wait while a ruling was made.

“The waiting wasn’t really a problem,” McFarland said. “I used to be in gymnastics and there were times it took officials a long time to make decisions.”

After both made their opening attempts at 10-8, Steinmetz passed at 11-0, while McFarland got it on her second attempt.

During the wait at 11-4, McFarland passed and Steinmetz made it on her first attempt to gain the advantage.

But, at 11-8 McFarland cleared on her second attempt, while Steinmetz made it on her third attempt — leaving them as the only two vaulters in the competition.

At 12-0, McFarland cleared on her first attempt, while Steinmetz again made it on her third attempt to stay alive.

After Steinmetz made 12-4 on her second attempt, McFarland did the same to maintain her advantage on misses.

When Steinmetz missed her third attempt at 12-8, McFarland knew she was the champ — based on misses.

But, she wanted to finish things right.

She broke her own school record by clearing 12-8 and celebrated as soon as she came down before missing all three attempts at 13-0 while going for another school record.

“When I made it (at 12-8), that felt really good,” McFarland said. “The goal was 13-0 today, but that is OK.”

She has another year for that.

“I am hoping to get on bigger poles next year and come over here and finish on top again,” McFarland said.

After putting on a show that gave fans more than their money’s worth.

Other athletes earn podium spots

Houston’s Emilee Earl finished fifth in girls pole vault by clearing 11-0 to earn a podium finish. Botkins’ Sophia Bajwa also earned a podium finish by tying for eighth; she clared 10-4.

Earl earned a podium spot in girls shot put; she finished sixth with a throw of 39-9.25.

Anna’s Justin Richards was the lone area boy to earn a podium finish in a field event; he finished seventh in boys long jump with a leap of 21-6.

Non-podium finishers

Lehman Catholic’s Caroline Wesner had a ninth-place finish in girls long jump to end her senior season, just missing the podium. She was ninth going into the finals with a jump of 17-0.25 and couldn’t move up from there.

Earl finished 12th out of 18 competitions in girls discus with a throw of 115-1 while Botkins’ Jana Metz finished 14th with a throw of 109-10.

Minster’s Kayla Lamm finished 14th in girls high jump by clearing 5-0.

Fairlawn’s Trey Sparks and Fort Loraie’s Ryan Hoelscher tied for 14th in boys high jump by clearing 6-0.

Fort Loramie’s Luke Holthaus finished 15th in boys pole vault by clearing 13-0.

Minster’s Will Frimel finished 18th in boys shot put with a throw of 41-11.

Sidney Daily News sports editor Bryant Billing contributed to this article. Billing can be reached at [email protected].

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