Track and field: Guinther, Swearingen earn second-place finishes in state meet


DAYTON — Sidney junior Garrett Guinther didn’t compete most of the season due to injury but finished second in Division I boys pole vault on Saturday during the state track and field meet.

Guinther was one of several area track and field athletes who earned podium finishes during the meet, which lasted Thursday through Saturday at Welcome Stadium. Div. III field finals were held Thursday, while track finals were held Friday. Div. I field finals were held Saturday.

Guinther tore a labrum in a shoulder in five places and had to have the injury surgically repaired.

“It was right after state last year,” Guinther said. “And I was praying saying, ‘Man, please help me, please help me, please help me.’ But He helped me. He humbled me but He also helped me along the journey.”

Guinther said it’s been a rewarding but painful journey.

“My first meet coming back, I no heighted. I was going to cry, I was crying,” Guinther said. “My second meet I set a PR, third meet a PR, this meet a PR.

“I did good. I’m not going to lie. I think I did pretty well. But I definitely could have done better. But overall perspective wise, I think this was a heck of a season.”

Guinther cleared 14 feet, 0 inches, 14-6 and 15-0 on his first tries. He cleared 15-4 and 15-8 on his second and missed three tries at 16-0. Green’s Caden McClure cleared 16-0 on his third try and finished first.

Guinther said he used too short of a pole to start with at 15-4.

“I was getting in my head a little bit, but I think I had too small to pole,” Guinther said. “It worked out.”

The state track meet normally takes place at Jesse Owens Stadium at Ohio State, but due to ongoing renovations there, it was held in Dayton this year.

Guinther, and most area athletes, said they prefer the meet being held at Ohio State. Guinther said he likes that the pole vault area has more seating there.

“It’s more compact. Shot put is right over there,” Guinther said after finishing pole vault while pointing to the nearby shot put pit. “So they’re close. …It’s just smaller, different experience. Because at Jesse Owens Stadium, it’s more spread out.”

Guinther qualified in pole vault as a freshman and missed three chances at clearing 13-0. Last year, he cleared 14-6 and finished sixth.

Guinther is hoping to compete for the D-I pole vault state title next year — and hopefully at Jesse Owens Stadium.

“My goal is 17 next year,” Guinther said. “But, got to go in small increments. I think I can definitely get there.”

Swearingen finishes 2nd in D-III girls 400 dash

Fairlawn senior Addison Swearingen finished second in the Division III girls 400-meter dash finals on Friday night.

Swearingen finished second in 56.69, three-tenths of a second behind first-place Olivia Hudson from Oberlin.

“With about 75 meters to go, I told myself I was going to have to push with everything I have,” Swearingen said. “But, so did she (Olivia Hudson). That’s okay. I will take runner-up.”

Swearingen also advanced to state in events as a sophomore and junior; Friday was her highest state finish.

“Considering I didn’t even make to state as a freshman, I never expected this,” Swearingen said. “It was a good way to end my career. I moved up to second after finishing fourth last year. I would have liked to win, but that’s okay.”

Swearingen also advanced to finals in the girls 100 dash and earned a podium finish by finishing eighth in 12.68.

Fort Loramie’s Heitkamp 3rd in 100, 300 hurdles

Fort Loramie junior Ariel Heitkamp finished third in the girls 100 hurdles in 15.14 and third in the 300 hurdles in 44.85.

Other area athletes earn podium finishes in finals:

• Jackson Center senior Lucas Hartle finished seventh in Div. III boys 110 hurdles in 15.72.

• Fort Loramie’s girls 4×200 relay of Heitkamp, Taylor Schmitmeyer, Izzy Meyer and Sunni Voisard finished seventh in 1:44.38 in the D-III finals.

• Anna’s girls 4×200 relay finished eighth in 1:46 in the D-III finals.

• Minster’s Ryan Halpin finished second in the D-III boys 800 run in 1:54.94. Jack Grieshop was fourth in 1:55.52.

• Minster’s girls 4×400 relay of Keri Heckman, Claire Bohman, Margaret Hemmelgarn and Chaney Cedarleaf finish sixth in the D-III finals.

Arnold just misses podium finish

Botkins senior Brittany Arnold finished ninth in the D-III girls 3,200 run in 11:18, one spot short of a podium finish.

Miami Valley Today sports editor Rob Kiser contributed to this report. Kiser can be reached at [email protected].

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