By Rob Kiser
SACRAMENTO, Cal — Just two weeks after earning first-team All-American honors at the NCAA championships, former Covington state champion and Akron junior Jackie Siefring competed at the USATF Outdoor National Championships.
At the meet, which featured the top 16 athletes in the country in the heptathlon, Siefring finished 10th with a total 5,652 points.
“It is really tough coming back right after the NCAAs,” Siefring said. “So, I didn’t really have any expectations going in. I wanted to finish in the top 10 and I was able to do that.”
And while the top three advanced on the World games — representing the United States — Siefring will get that chance as well.
By finishing in the top 10, she earned the opportunity to compete in the Thorpe Cup — a track competition between the U.S. and Germany, which will be held in Dussendorf, Germany in July.
“I was looking at going to a different meet (than the U.S. Nationals),” Siefring said. “But, my coach strongly recommended this meet and that was one of the reasons. This is a year when the Thorpe Cup is in Germany. He told me it would be a really cool experience and I am blessed to just have the opportunity.”
Siefring was in 13th after the first day last weekend after taking 14th in the 110 hurdles, 14.11; 13th in the high jump, 5-5; eighth in the shot put, 40-6 3-4; and 13th in the 200, 25.08.
She moved up on the final day, saving her best for last.
After finishing eighth in the long jump, 19-5 1-2; and 12th in the javelin, 118-1; she finished third in the 800 in 2:13.73 to secure the berth to the Thorpe Cup.
“It was really cool the way it worked out,” Siefring said. “There was another girl who took the lead on the first lap and I took control of the race from there. It was just nice to have somebody who ran with me.”
For Siefring, it is still a learning experience in the heptathlon.
“I am not sure what my potential is,” she said. “It was cool at this meet, just to see all the athletes who had competed at Rio (in the Olympics). With me having been doing some of these events for only three years and some of the others having done this for 12 or 15 years, I am still a baby at this.”
And Siefring is always happy to hear from friends and supporters in Covington.
“They are blowing up my phone right now,” she said. “I look at everything they send me — even though I can’t always get back to everyone. I just want them to know how much their support means to me.”
And she is hoping for bigger and better things in the future.
“I am not even sure what my training schedule will be for the next couple of weeks,” she said. “I think this season has raised the bar. I am going to work hard and hopes of having another season like this one next year. I am really excited about the Thorpe Cup and can’t wait.”
Siefring wasn’t the only local athlete to have success over the weekend.
Former Versailles state champion Sam Prakel, who runs for Oregon, had a strong showing as well.
He will also have the opportunity for the Thorpe Cup after finishing seventh in the 1,500-meter run.
Prakel was clocked in 3:45.02 in the finals.
Former Piqua standout Megan Anderson had a big freshman year for Sinclair Community College on an off the field.
She was named All-OCCAC Academic and NJCAA second team All-Academic (GPA between 3.8 and 3.99).
Anderson was also first team All-OCCAC.
She batted .469 with 53 hits, 19 stolen bases, two doubles, one triple and 13 RBIs.
Versailles’ Jenna Frantz set a personal best recently during the New Balance Nationals Outdoor track and field meet at North Carolina A&T State University.
Frantz, a 2017 graduate of Versailles, finished eighth in the girls pole vault during the New Balance Nationals Outdoor by clearing a personal-best mark of 13 feet 1.5 inches.
Her previous best was 12 feet 9 inches, a height she cleared earlier this month during the OHSAA state track and field meet.
Frantz will compete for the University of Akron next year.