By Rob Kiser
Call Sports Editor
COLUMBUS — Call them the Super Six at Versailles.
Seniors Amanda Winner and Lauren Bohman; juniors Taylor Winner and Valerie Francis; sophomore Haley Winner and freshman Camille Watren combined to put the Lady Tigers relays on the podium three times at the D-II state track and field championships.
“I feel very fortunate to be part of the Versailles girls track program,” Amanda Winner, who was part of relay and team state championships at Versailles, said. “I never made it on the podium in any individual events (during her career). We all work very well together.”
The Lady Tigers, who moved up from D-III to D-II this year, saved their best for last.
Amanda Winner, Taylor Winner, Haley Winner and Watren combined for second place in the 1,600 relay in 3:57.11, breaking the school record they had set Friday in the prelims. Meadowdale won in 3:54.42
“You can’t ask for anymore than that,” Amanda Winner said.
Taylor Winner agreed.
“This is still a special race (the three Winners won with their cousin and (Taylor’s) sister Meagan last spring),” Taylor Winner said. “It felt great to finish second and get that high on the podium.”
Earlier, Bohman had made her final two trips to the podium.
The 800 relay (Bohman, Watren, Amanda Winner, Haley Winner) finished third in 1:41.97; while the 400 relay (Bohman, Watren, Valerie Francis, Haley Winner) finished eighth in 50.06.
“We did exactly what we were expected to do,” Bohman said. “It feels great. That is all you can ask. It was a little frustrating getting close to the school record (in the 800 relay) and not getting it, but it was great getting on the podium twice.”
Francis got a taste of getting on the podium.
“It was great for my first experience at the state meet,” she said.
Watren capped an impressive freshman season with three trips to the podium.
“I never expected this, especially with us moving up to D-II,” she said. “And another freshman Jenna (Frantz) placed in the pole vault. I just feel blessed to be on this team.”
And Haley Winner said the Lady Tigers won’t be going away anytime soon.
“This was a like a dream, to get on the podium three times,” she said. “Of course we are going to miss the seniors. But, I think we are going to find a way to make it work.”
Freshman Jenna Frantz continued to surprise herself in the pole vault.
Frantz cleared 10-8, matching her PR, to finish seventh.
“I am going to get on the podium,” Frantz said. “I never would have expected anything like this at all. Definitely, this does give me big expectagtions for next year.. I want to work hard and see what I can do.”
And as always, Frantz did it with her trademark smile.
“I just think the pole vault is a really fun event,” Frantz said. “And if you want to do your best, you have to enjoy yourself.”
You can’t blame Bradford senior 100 hurdler Shay LaFollette if she feels a little cursed.
But, even that couldn’t stop her from becoming the first Bradford girl to place at the state meet.
After having a hurdle in another lane cause her to fall last year and finish ninth, it was almost a repeat last year.
This time, her hurdle getting hit caused her to break her finger, but she wouldn’t be denied finishing seventh in 15.76.
“The eighth hurdle, one before last year,” LaFollette. “I was really struggling at that point. I was really disappointed at the finish line, but I got up on the podium, I can’t shake your hand because I broke my finger.’
But the medal and history she made will last a lifetime.
Miami East’s Marie Ewing had an impressive freshman season end Saturday, with a 14th-place finish in the 800 in 2:25.65.