COLUMBUS — Two years after being part of Anna’s Division III state champion girls track and field team, Hannah Shoemaker said little has compared to the feeling of helping hoist a trophy on the awards podium at Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus.
Setting a new school record in the Div. II girls 300-meter hurdles in the state meet on Saturday is one feeling that does compare.
Shoemaker finished fourth in the event in 43.57 seconds, which is a personal record and breaks the school record she set on Friday when she finished the preliminary race in 44.19.
“I thought I did amazing, better than I ever thought I could,” Shoemaker, a senior, said. “This is a great last meet and a great way to end my senior year.”
Shoemaker qualified for state events each of her four seasons.
She knew soon after Anna’s big day in the 2017 meet that returning her last two years would be a harder task. The Rockets were moved up to Div. II that summer by the OHSAA, which re-adjusts divisions for schools for each sport every two years. Anna is on the lower end of D-II enrollment-wise and faced a tough battle to compete for state spots after the change.
“Last year it was different being in a new district, region and meeting new people,” Shoemaker said. “But overall, it allowed me to face better competition, and I think that’s definitely part of the reason I dropped my time so much. Being D-II really helped me drop my times a lot.”
Botkins’ Jutte reaches podium again
Botkins senior Adriana Jutte reached the podium in D-III girls 300 hurdles for the second consecutive season.
Jutte finished eighth on Saturday in 46.47, less than a .1 behind seventh place and .3 ahead of ninth. She was happy with the performance — especially since she wondered whether she was even going to be able to participate in tournament meets after missing over half the season.
Jutte said she strained something in the quadriceps in her left leg in mid-April and missed over a month. She started running again in the Shelby County Athletic League meet, which was held three weeks ago.
“I was really honestly just happy to be back by postseason,” Jutte said. “I’m happy with how I’ve come back.”
Jutte finished eighth in 46.51 a year ago and qualified for this year’s finals by finishing in 46.52 in Friday’s preliminary race.
“I was in the eighth lane yesterday and was kind of running scared,” Jutte said. “My coach (Fred Schmerge) just said ‘Just push the first hurdle and try to hold it the whole way through.’ I had a little bit different strategy on lane one today, being on the total different side of the track.
“I was really just chasing, hoping to get a little bit higher on the podium. But I pushed and gave everything I had in that last 100. I couldn’t have done any better.”
Minster girls earn podium spots
Several Minster athletes earned podium spots on Saturday.
Minster senior Madeline Magoto finished second in 2:12 in the D-III girls 800 run while Gwendolyn Meiring finished sixth in the 3,200 run in 11:42. Kaitlynn Albers finished seventh in the 1,600 in 5:13.
“I’m very happy,” Magoto said. “The past three years I’ve gotten third. So, it was good to move up at least one spot. I was hoping maybe one more, but I dropped a lot of time and I’m really happy with it.”
Magoto will be attending West Point Military Academy next school year, where she will compete in track and cross country.
Magoto also was part of Friday’s 4×800 relay that finished second and Saturday’s 4×400 relay that placed fifth.
Minster’s girls team, which won the Div. III state title last year, finished fifth with 25 points.
Lehman Catholic finishes 5th in 4×200 relay
After having three runners back from last year’s girls 4×100 meter relay team that finished second in the event in the Div. III state meet, Lehman Catholic had high expectations this year.
Instead, it was the 800 relay — who didn’t make it to state a year ago — that finished fifth on Saturday.
Junior Rylie McIver and sophomore Lindsey Magoteaux made return trips to the podium with junior Olivia Monnin and freshman Ella Monnin after being clocked in 1:46.02.
“It may not have been the time or place we hoped for,” McIver said. “But we had a great season.”
“Any time you can finish the season on the podium, that is a good season.”
And the Monnins gained valuable experience running on Saturday.
“For sure,” Olivia Monnin said. “To run in front of a crowd like this.”
The Cavaliers are already thinking about next year.
“Without a doubt, we want to come back and finish higher,” McIver said.
Prakel earns podium spot despite injury
Versailles junior Lucy Prakel earned a podium spot in Div. II girls pole vault on Saturday despite a recent injury that hampered her ability.
Prakel suffered a fractured foot and didn’t know leading up to Saturday’s finals if she could compete. But she fought through the pain and finished eighth by clearing 11-2 on her third try.
Prakel cleared 10-10 during the D-II regional meet in Piqua last week but missed three tries to get 11-2.
She missed her first tries to clear 9-6 and 10-0 on Saturday but got over both on her second tries. After clearing 10-6 and 10-10 on her second tries, she was able to clear 11-2 after two misses to earn a podium spot.
Sidney’s Hudgins finishes 17th in long jump
Sidney senior Josiah Hudgins didn’t reach the podium on Saturday. He finished 17th out of 18 athletes in Division I boys long jump.
Hudgins — who was the only Sidney athlete to qualify for regionals or state — had a leap of 20-3.25 on his third try.
It caps off a remarkable high school athletic career for Hudgins, who was a multiple-year starter in football and basketball. He signed with Tiffin University for football earlier this year.
Piqua Daily Call sports editor Rob Kiser and Lima News contributing writer Mark Alstaetter contributed to this article. Kiser can be reached at email@example.com.