By Josh Brown and Rob Kiser
COLUMBUS —Covington’s Lauren Christian already knew how the throwing events worked at the Division III state track and field meet Friday at Jesse Owens Stadium.
“Just one good throw. That’s all you need,” she said.
And that mantra carried her throughout the day, as she placed seventh in the discus to start out and then, after a lengthy weather delay, climbed up the ladder and placed third in the shot put.
That one good throw in the discus proved to be her first one at 122-11, but it was good enough to earn her a spot on the podium after she entered the event seeded 11th after last week’s regional.
And after some early struggles in the shot put, Christian — who was seeded second after last week’s regional in the event — scored a 43-4.25 on her third and final preliminary throw, shooting herself up to second place in the standings and likely solidifying a spot in the finals — and that’s when the rain and lightning hit, causing a nearly two-hour delay that did not phase her.
“I felt pretty good, because I got my 43 out,” Christian said. “I felt really good with that. Coming back in, I was just like ‘go for it with all you have,’ and that’s what I did.”
And in the second flight, only Leipsic’s Grace Rigel was able to pass her, launching a 46-0 toss to take the lead away from top-seeded Izzy Cline from Newton Falls.
Christian bettered her own mark on her second throw in the finals, letting loose a 44-1.5, but Cline hit a 46-3 on the final throw to win it. Both Cline and Rigel are seniors, while Christian is only a junior. Last season, Christian placed sixth in the shot put and 14th in the discus.
“It feels really good,” Christian said. “Last year, I had a lot of pressure on me because I wasn’t even supposed to make finals, and last year was really tough competition, too. But this year, I came in relaxed and had that experience from last year, and I feel like that really helped me a lot.”
Ready to make history
The Covington relay teams continue to lower records and have a chance to make history today.
Both the 800 relay (Rayna Horner, Tori Lyle, Morgan Lowe, Breanna Kimmel) and the 1,600 relay (Kimmel, Paige Boehringer, Lowe, Horner) have the fastest time heading into today’s finals of 1:45.10 and 3:58.63 respectively.
Covington lowered its school record in the 1,600 relay.
Covington had the fast time in the 1,600 relay by almost three seconds.
“If we win, we win,” Horner said. “Lowering the record (in the 1,600 relay) is always a goal. The important thing was getting a good seed (lane placement) for tomorrow and we did that.”
Kimmel isn’t thinking about a possible state championship.
“Personally, I would rather not think about that too much,” she said. “We wanted to go out and run a good race today and we did that.”
The same four girls were seventh in the 1,600 relay a year ago.
“I think it will help (having been there before),” Boehringer said. “I think there will be less nerves. I think we will be a little calmer.”
Lowe ran a strong third leg in the 1,600 relay to open up a lead.
“That’s the idea,” Lowe said. “I am going out there and chasing.”
Horner also has high hopes in the 400, where she has the second fastest time of 57.51.
Dakota Stamm of Archbold ran a 56.91 in the first heat.
“All our times are really close — in the 56s and 57s,” Horner said. “It will just come down to what happens tomorrow.”
Kimmel missed qualifying for the finals of the 100. She had the 11th fastest time of 12.84.
On to Finals
The Lehman Catholic girls were in three races — and all made today’s finals.
Senior Alanna O’Leary teamed with sophomores Rylie McIver and Lauren McFarland and freshman Lindsey Magoteaux for the third fastest time in the 400 relay in 50.69.
“I was the only one who had run over here before,” O’Leary said. “So, to get to finals, I think the pressure is off a little bit. Those three have run her now.”
McFarland used one word to describe the experience.
“Crazy,” she said.
McIver had a similar reaction.
“Awesome,” she said. “I can tell you I have never experienced anything like this (the atmosphere at Jesse Owens Stadium).”
“A lot of people watching,” she said.
O’Leary has the sixth fastest time in the 200, 26.07.
“I ran a pretty good time today,” O’Leary said. “We will see how it goes. You always want to finish high on the podium. For the relay team, winning is always a good goal.”
Magoteaux has the ninth fastest time in the 100, 12.81.
“It feels good to make finals in both events,” she said.