By Rob Kiser
COLUMBUS —What a difference a year makes.
Russia junior Emily Bohman finished 13th in the Division III state track and field championships at Jesse Owens Stadium as a sophomore.
One-year later, Bohman soared to new heights and finished third, clearing 11-6.
“Last year, I was 13th and this year, I have this,” Bohman said with a big smile as she pointed to the medal around her neck.”
Bohman was assured of placing after being one of eight vaulters to clear 10-10.
At 11-2, she was down to her third attempt, before clearing the height and extending her season.
Then, she soared over 11-6 on her first attempt and suddenly, she was in the top five.
As she landed, she erupted with emotion.
“I was literally crying,” Bohman said about a new PR. “I told you I was going to get 11-6 this week and I did.”
Only Kassidie Stimmel of Castalia Margaretta cleared 11-10 and Bohman finished third based on misses.
“I was working with a bigger stick (pole) this week,” Bohman, who didn’t make it up in the air at 11-10 until the third attempt. “I finally got into the mat on the third one. I would say that having big expectations is a huge understatement.”
It was a great start to the weekend for Russia senior Grace York — and a great finish for fellow seniors Shaelyn Goubeaux, who teamed with Jessica York and Claire Meyer for seventh-place in the 3,200-meter run in 9:37.19.
“That was the goal (to be up on the podium),” Goubeaux said. “It feels amazing to finish my career up there.”
The Lady Raiders were running 10th when Grace York got the baton and by the halfway mark of her leg, she had Russia in the top eight and stayed there.
“I just wanted to make sure we got up on the podium and move up as far as I could,” York, who goes into today’s 800 with the fastest qualifying time. “It was a great warmup for tomorrow’s 800. I can’t wait to run that race.”
Jessica York was excited to end her freshman year on the podium.
“I didn’t expect to be here (at the start of the year),” she said. “It feels great to get up on the podium. That is what we were shooting for.”
Meyer, a sophomore, agreed.
“That was the goal, to get up on the podium,” she said. “I was really nervous. The senior just told me to relax and remember I was running for God. It felt great to be up on the podium.”
The third time (to state) proved to be the charm for Lehman Catholic sprinter Alanna O’Leary.
She has the eighth fastest time of 58.73 going into today’s finals in the 400.
“I don’t know, it was just a lot more fun this year,” O’Leary said. “I was more relaxed. This (state) hasn’t been fun the last couple of years. My parents and family have been amazing and my coaches have really worked with me on staying focused.”
She is excited about the opportunity in the finals today.
“I don’t what to expect — I have never run on championship today before so, I don’t know what to expect,” O’Leary said with a smile.
The Miami East foursome of Marie Ewing, Lindsey Yingst, Kaitlyn Mack and Lorenza Savini finished 13th in 9:47.90.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.