By Rob Kiser
Alanna O’Leary is making her third straight trip to the Division III state track and field meet Friday and Saturday at Jesse Owens Stadium.
And the Lehman Catholic senior hopes this time will be the charm.
O’Leary is running in the 400 for the second straight year and her time of 58.35 is the sixth fastest qualifying time.
“I look at the times,” she said. “But, it still comes down to how you run (at state on Friday). Really, this has been a great year. We had a relay team running in the finals at regionals, which we haven’t had in the past and it was good to to make it out to state.”
Lehman Catholic coach Dwane Rowley has high hopes for O’Leary this weekend.
“She is (positioned well),” Rowley said. “But, if I remember right, she was positioned well last year. It comes down to how you respond to that competition.”
O’Leary will be running in the same heat as Covington’s Rayna Horner, the district and regional champion.
“I really like running against her,” O’Leary said. “I think that does help me.”
“I think it is kind of like Lauren Heaton (former Russia state champion),” Rowley said about O’Leary running with Horner. “It pushes Alanna (O’Leary) to run her best. When Alanna came in as a freshman, she said one of her goals was to break some of Gretchen’s (Walter, the former Lehman state champion) records.”
For now, a spot on the podium would do just fine.
“I am a junior now so I am getting near the end (0f her prep athletic career),” O’Leary said with a smile. “I am hoping to make finals and then whatever I can do in the finals.”
Alanna O’Leary, sixth 58.35.
Russia senior Grace York’s time of 2:13.47 in the 800 at last week’s regional meet not only gave her the Russia school record, it gives her the fastest qualifying time going into Saturday’s race.
York and teammates Shaelyn Goubeaux, Claire Meyer and Rachel York have the 11th fastest time in the 3,200-meter relay, 9:47.92; while junior pole vaulter Emily Bohman is tied for the fifth best qualifying vault of 11-0.
On the boys side for Russia, Cole Tebbe has the 15th fastest time in the 110 high hurdles, 15.75.
Miami East pole vaulter Blaine Brokschmidt is tied for the seventh best qualifying vault, 13-8; while the Miami East girls 3,200-meter relay (Lindsey Yingst, Lorenza Savini, Kaitlyn Mack, Marie Ewing) have the eighth fastest time, 9:45.23.
Bradford’s Karmen Knepp has the 15th fastest time in the girls 3,200, 11:32.39; while Houston discus thrower David Stammen has the 15th best throw, 140-0.
If the regional results are any indication, Joe Spitzer and Josh Steinbrunner can expect big things this weekend for Versailles in the boys D-II meet.
Spitzer has the fastest qualifying time in the 3,200, 9:35.26; while Steinbrunner has the second fastest time in the 110 hurdles, 14.66.
On the girls side, Jenna Frantz is set to end her career with a third trip to the podium.
Frantz is tied for the fourth best distance in the long jump, 18-3; and along with freshman teammate Lucy Prakel, the two are tied for the seventh best qualifying vault in the pole vault, 10-10.
The 400 relay (Frantz, Prakel, Cassie Peters, Ava Moran) has the 11th fastest time in the 400 relay, 50.02 but that is a little deceiving because a bad exchange slowed their time Saturday.
The 1,600 relay (Liz Watren, Emily Langenkamp, Camille Watren, Ellen Peters) has the 12th fastest time, 4:02.34; while Camille Watren has the 14th fastest time in the 400, 58.90.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.