State field finals: Lehman Catholic’s Katie McFarland wins second straight D-III pole vault title


By Rob Kiser
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DAYTON — Winning her first state title may have been the easy part for Lehman Catholic senior Katie McFarland.

Defending it…priceless.

McFarland finished off her long battle back from a serious injury in January by winning the Division III state title in girls pole vault Thursday at Welcome Stadium…and then finished her career with some excitement.

“I think it is kind of a feeling of relief,” McFarland said. “Being in a hospital in January after a fall in Reno (Nevada) and being able to defend my title, I think that is a pretty good accomplishment. It means a lot.”

Division III field finals were held in the state track meet on Thursday, as well as in boys and girls 4×800 relays. D-III track finals are scheduled to be held on Friday evening.

McFarland passed until 11 feet, 6 inches and made her first attempts at 11-6 and 11-10.

After missing her first attempt at 12-2, she made her second attempt — leaving just her and Annamarie Montle of Federal Hocking in the competition at 12-6.

McFarland made her first attempt at that height.

“I had a pretty good feeling that would win it for me,” McFarland said. “But, you never know.”

As Montle made her third and final attempt at 12-6, McFarland didn’t watch.

“Honestly, after what happened to me in Reno, I don’t watch anyone jump,” she said.

When Montle missed, McFarland was state champion.

She then attempted 13-feet and on her final attempt, as she was going up — her hands came off the pole and she did a flip before landing safely on the matt.

“I am okay,” she said while holding an icepack on her elbow. “I am not really sure what happened. The important thing is I came down on the mat. I wanted to get 13 feet, but maybe I can get that next year (at the University of Mississippi).”

After an amazing final two years in the pole vault at Lehman.

Also in girls pole vault, Houston junior Emilee Earl finished ninth by clearing 11-0 on her second try, just missing a podium spot. She also competed shot put and discus on Thursday and finished 15th and 16th, respectively.

Minster’s Adriana Kremer finishes 2nd in high jump

Minster junior Adriana Kremer finished second in girls high jump. She cleared 5-5 on her first try after missing her first two tries at 5-4. She missed three tries at 5-6; Sandy Valley’s Lexi Tucci cleared it on her first try and finished first.

“I wasn’t expecting this at all,” Kremer said. “I never would have thought this at the beginning of the year. My PR was 5-2, so I was pretty surprised (to get 5-5). Definitely, it raises my expectations for next year.”

Lehman senior Daria Lee earned a podium finish. She finished sixth after clearing 5-3 on her second try.

Fort Loramie’s Janelle Siegel and Victoria Mescher tied for ninth, just missing a podium spot. Both cleared 5-2 on their second tries.

Minster, Fort Loramie, Botkins girls earn podium finish in 4×800 relay

Minster, Fort Loramie and Botkins’ girls 4×800 relays each earned podium finishes on Thursday.

Minster’s 4×800 relay of Margaret Hemmelgarn, Maria Niekamp, Annie Hemmelgarn and Chaney Cedarleaf finished third in 9:20.93, .7 seconds slower than first-place Smithville.

Fort Loramie’s relay of Harley Eilerman, Camille Borchers, Lauren Moore and Mylee Shatto finished fifth in 9:39.44. Botkins’ relay of Grace Gutman, Alaina Mann, Addison Blindauer and Brittany Arnold finished seventh in 9:40.

Sparks just misses podium

Fairlawn’s Trey Sparks was another area athlete who finished ninth in an event, just missing a podium spot. He was ninth in boys high jump after clearing 6-2.

Other athletes earn podium spots

• Girls long jump: Russia freshman Hazel Francis finished sixth with a leap of 17-0.25. She was an at-large berth in the event after finishing sixth in the Troy D-III regional last week with a leap of 16-11.75.

• Boys discus: Minster senior Charlie Schmiesing finished fifth with a throw of 166-7 while Versailles junior Leland Bolin finished eighth with a throw of 158-8.

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

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