By David Fong and Rob Kiser
COLUMBUS — By his own admission, Blaine Brokschmidt didn’t have his best day at the Division II state track and field meet Friday at Jesse Owens Stadium.
Still, though, even on an “off day,” the Miami East junior was better than nearly every other Division II pole vaulter in the state of Ohio. Brokschmidt placed fourth with a vault of 14-2. It was nearly a foot lower than the school-record 15-0 he jumped a week prior at regionals.
“I wanted to be at the top of the podium,” said Brokschidt, who placed eighth as a sophomore. “It’s disappointing, because I knew I could do better. Today just wasn’t a good day for me. I didn’t feel good in warm ups. Really, it wasn’t a good week for me. I didn’t get in much practice because of the weather and my shin splints were bothering me. But I can’t make excuses. I didn’t vault the way I wanted to vault.”
After passing at the first three heights, Brokschmidt entered the competition and didn’t have and cleared 13-6, 13-10 and 14-2 without any misses. That left just four vaulters in the competition. When the bar was raised to 14-6, Brokschmidt failed to get off a clean attempt.
“I think it helped coming over here last year,” he said. “This year, it felt like just another meet. I’ve vaulted against all of these guys before. I know all of them. That took a lot of the pressure off. I felt a lot more comfortable then I felt last year.”
Brokschmidt said he hopes to refocus and make a final run at a state title as a senior.
“I had a good year,” he said. “I jumped a foot higher than I have before and I set the school record. Now I’m going to put in a lot of work this summer and fix my form so I can jump higher next year.”
Versailles AJ Ahrens finished his career on the podium, taking sixth in the shot put with a distance of 51-9 1-4.
“This is a great experience (being at state),” Ahrens said. “I wish I had done it more. That was a great feeling being on the podium.”
Ahrens was hoping for a little more.
“I wanted to get the school record of 52-10,” he said. “I came up a little short.”
But, he made a memory for a lifetime.
“It was different than anything else,” Ahrens said. “I could tell by how much adrenaline I Had warming up. I could tell I was going to throw it a lot farther than normal.”
Kyle Jones finished 15th in the long jump for Versailles, with a distance of 19-5 1-2, while Luke Shellhaas no-heighted in the pole vault.
Josh Steinbrunner has a shot at two trips to the podium today to end his career.
Steinbrunner, the defending champion in the 110 hurdles, has the third fastest time of 14.56.
“I was happy with the way I ran,” Steinbrunner said. “I don’t think defending champion necessarily puts pressure on you. It puts a target on you for sure. There are some guys that will definitely be coming after me.”
Steinbrunner just missed the finals of the 300 hurdles, with the 11th fastest time of 39.68.
“I felt good running the race,” Steinbrunner said. “I would have like a shot to run them tomorrow and have a shot a three trips to the podium.”
Steinbrunner will also compete in the high jump this morning.
Three more relays
Ellen Peters has the opportunity for three podium finishes tomorrow for tomorrow
The 1,600 relay (Liz Watren, Ellen Peters, Lindsey Winner, Kenia McEldowney) have the xx fastest time of 4:00.32; the 800 relay (Cassie Peters, Watren, Ellen Peters, Ava Moran) have the eighth fastest time, 1:44.87; and the 400 relay (Lucy Prakel, Ellen Peters, Ali Moran, Ava Moran) have the ninth fastest time of 49.97.
“I don’t feel like we ran up to what we were seeded,” Peters said. “There is some strong competition over here and we need to step up to the challenge.”
Peters is hoping to add three more medals to her collection.
“I am not as nervous over here as I have been in the past,” she said. “I think the 4×4 should be shooting for top five. The 4×2 should be shooting for top six and the 4×1 at this point, we are just hoping to medal.”
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