By Rob Kiser
The Covington girls track and field team will be well represented at the Division III state track and field meet Friday and Saturday at Jesse Owens Stadium on the Ohio State University campus.
And the Lady Buccs will be looking to bring home a number of medals as well.
Leading the way is the 1,600-meter relay team (Rayna Horner, Morgan Lowe, Paige Boehringer, Breanna Kimmel) who has the third fastest qualifying time of 3:59.74.
“I think the relay team has a chance to do really well,” Covington girls coach Dave Tobias said. “They are positioned well and I don’t think they have run their best time yet.”
Horner, who will also run in the 400, is excited to be running in the state meet.
“We are pretty well positioned,” Horner said. “We are ranked third. We definitely want to make finals and get up on the podium. I went over last year and watched the boys run so I have an idea what to expect (running at Jesse Owens Stadium).”
Boehringer knows you have to think big at this point.
“The goal is to win,” Boehringer said as she looked towards Horner, who nodded her approval. “It is exciting to be running at state. We know we need to run our best (to win).”
Horner has the fourth fastest qualifying time in the 400 of 58.09 after setting a school record with 57.92 at the district meet.
“I looked at the times,” Horner said. “There are three girls running in the 57s. Hopefully, I won’t be as nervous as I was at regionals. It is going to come down to whoever is feeling it that day. I am excited.”
Tobias said it is a matter of responding to the competition.
“Rayna (Horner) is positioned really well,” he said. “But, again it comes down to who is going to handle it (the atmosphere and crowd) and respond. I think Rayna has a chance to do really well.”
Sophomore Lauren Christian feels redemption after being stopped short of state last year by injury.
She qualified in both the shot put and discus.
Her put of 39-9 1-2 is 11th in the shot put, while her toss of 118-10 in the discus is 14th. She will compete in both events Friday afternoon.
“I broke my foot last year at district, so I kind of wanted to make this my comeback year,” Christian said. “It is exciting to be throwing at state. I have a better chance in the shot. I want to get up on the podium.”
In shot, she will be competing against Nicole Berry of Franklin Monroe, one of the top shot putters in the state.
“I have been throwing against Nicole (Berry) all year,” Christian said. “I am looking forward to it.”
Tobias feels like Christian chances are good.
“Lauren (Christian) has had a really good year,” he said. “She is up against some strong competition, but she is capable of doing well.”
Before anchoring the 1,600 relay, Kimmel will run in 100 Friday morning.
She goes in with the 16th fastest qualifying time of 12.90, but Tobias said her start will make the difference.
“It is going to come down to having a block start for Breanna (Kimmel),” he said. “She is as fast as any of those girls, but she has got to have a block start to have any chance.”
The prelims in the running events are Friday, with the top two in each heat and the next five fastest times advancing to Saturday’s finals.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.