MINSTER — The Minster Wildcats have produced 25 team state championships combined in cross country and track. Individually, the program has won 49 individual titles across the two sports. Coach Jessie Magoto — who has been there for many of those titles — no doubt is proud of each one.
The most recent medal ceremony, though, tugged at her heart more than others.
“That was a tough one,” Magoto said last Friday night, teary eyed after hanging the 800-meter regional championship medal around the neck of her senior daughter, Madeline, during the podium ceremony.
It won’t get any easier on them Saturday. Magoto makes her final high school run at the Division III state track and field championships at Ohio State University’s Jessie Owens Memorial Stadium. Magoto enters the 800 with the top-seeded time from last week’s four regional meets.
The meet starts Friday with all three divisions. The finals are Saturday.
This is Madeline’s fourth straight state appearance in the 800. She’s finished third all three times but has consistently closed the gap on the field. As a freshman she finished 4.66 seconds behind the winner. As a sophomore she was 2.31 second behind. And last season she trimmed it to 0.60 seconds.
She enters her 10:55 a.m. race on Saturday as a favorite with the top-seeded time of 2:16.51.
“Just having that experience will help,” Madeline said. “There’s fear of the unknown if you haven’t been there. But I’ll know what to expect. I’m optimistic.”
Madeline isn’t one to back down from a challenge. On July 1 she will report to the United States Military Academy at West Point and serve with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
“When I was looking at colleges nothing really stood out to me,” Madeline said. “When I found West Point, just the combination of service to my country, academics and athletics. Continuing my athletics eally hit home. That’s what I’m passionate about. I’m excited to start that journey.
All while ending another.
Saturday won’t be Madeline’s final race. She’ll compete for West Point in cross country and track. But it is her final event with her mom as coach.
“I feel like this season I’ve gotten to step back and appreciate all my years on the team with my mom,” Madeline said. “With her putting that medal around my neck and giving me a big hug, it was a special moment.”
“With it being her last meet in high school it’s all going to be great,” Jessie said. “She’s stronger than she’s ever been, so of course she’s going to after it. No matter what it’s going to be awesome. She’s going to appreciate it, run heart and soul, be gritty and it’ll be great no matter what.”
Among other state highlights:
Sidney: Senior Josiah Hudgins, the Yellow Jackets’ first D-I state qualifier in the long jump in more than 10 seasons, tied his personal best with 21-06.25 at the regional meet to finish third. He’s within reach of the school record of 22-08. He won’t compete in high jump at state, but Hudgins tied the high jump record at 6-6 this season. The mark was set by Dave Westover in 1982. Hudgins is the first male athlete from Sidney to tie or break a school record since 2012.
Anna: Including her three D-II events this weekend, senior Hannah Shoemaker has qualified for state in 10 events in her career. Should she make it through her preliminary races in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and 800 relay she will have run 15 races at state to establish a new school record for boys or girls.
Botkins: Senior Grace Homan, a six-time Shelby County Athletic League champion in the shot put (including junior high), makes her fourth D-III appearance in that event. She finished fourth last season. Homan qualified with a throw of 41-06 to finish second at regional. She also qualified in the discus with a regional championship throw of 128-01.
Fort Loramie: The Redskins take a large contingent of 16 athletes including the 1,600 relay of seniors Carson Moore, Joe Ballas, Jake Rethman and Gavin Schulze. Junior Evan Luthman stepped up when Charles Wray was injured to help get the team through the conference and district meets before giving way to Moore. The team set a school record at last week’s regional in 3:26.85.
Ballas and Rethman also compete in the 1,600 run. Ballas won regional in 4:23.79, which was 0.03 seconds off the school record set by Tom Ballas in 2017.
On the girls side, juniors Alyssa Wrasman and Kennedi Gephart return after breaking school records at state last season. Wrasman finished ninth in the 100 hurdles with a record 15.26 in prelims, while Gephart was second in the 200 in 25.29.
Freshman Abby Wrasman set a personal record in the high jump at 5-4 to qualify and junior Andrea Rodeheffer, who has battled an injury all season, PR’d in the regional pole vault at 10-6 to advance.
New Bremen: Junior Macy Puthoff adds to her family’s state history following her second straight D-III regional long jump championship. Puthoff was sixth at state last season. Her mother, Amy (Householder) Puthoff, qualified for state in eight sprint events from 1991-93.
Riverside: Sophomore Lauryn Sanford competes in the 400 following her first full season of track. The school record holder finished second at regional in 59.34. She also holds the school record in the high jump at 5-3.