By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
TROY — Covington thrower Lauren Christian saved her best for last.
Troy Christian high jumper Kenley Blake had plenty to get excited about.
And Bradford’s Jacob McQuinn and Newton’s Dawson Hildebrand will continue their friendly battle in the discus for one more week.
All four earned trips to next week’s state track and field meet Wednesday night at the Division III regional meet at Troy Memorial Stadium.
Christian won the regional title in the shot put, after trailing until her final attempt in finals.
Christian had a put of 40-6 on her first attempt, but Botkins’ Grace Homan topped that and led headed to the finals with a put of 41-6.
“It is probably good that I had that (40-6 on her first attempt),” Christian said. “Because I fouled on the next two. I was going 43, 44 feet in warmups, so I knew it (a better put) was out there.”
After another foul and a put of 39-10 on her second attempt in the finals, Christian had one last shot.
And she delivered in the clutch, with a put of 42-1 and 3-4 and Homan couldn’t top it on her final attempt.
“It was just a matter of me calming down and relaxing,” Christian said.
Now she has a shot at her ultimate goal next week.
“It has been my goal (to win state),” she said. “I am excited about it. I always throw better in Columbus (at state), because the great atmosphere pumps me up.”
Blake had hit her PR of 5-3 in the long jump last week at the district meet.
And while she didn’t quite repeat that, clearing 5-2 on her second attempt —- it was enough for her to accomplish her goal.
“That’s been my goal, to get to the state meet,” Blake said.
When Blake missed at 5-4, she knew she was going to state unless Melisa Waterman of New Knoxville and Maria Petry of Tri-Village both cleared 5-4. When they didn’t, Blake had third place and a trip to state.
“I thought I had third (after clearing 5-2) because of misses,” Blake said. “There were still a couple of things that could happen, but I was pretty sure. When I found out (she was going to state), I started jumping up and down because I was so excited. I am sure I will be a little nervous next week, but I am hoping to clear 5-4.”
Covington’s Lillian Hamilton finished sixth in the high jump, clearing 5-0, while Lehman Catholic’s 3,200 relay finished 10th in 10:27.20 and Bethel was 13th in 10:57.62.
In running event semifinals, a number of competitors qualified for Friday’s finals.
Lehman Catholic’s Lindsey Magoteaux advanced in the 100, 12.79 and 200, 26.58; while the Cavaliers 400 relay, 51.51 and 800 relay, 1:47.01 also advanced.
For Covington, the 800 relay, 1:51.98 and the 1,600 relay, 4:18.61 advanced to finals.
McQuinn and Hildebrand finished 2-3 in the discus and will see each other again at state.
“I think it does,” McQuinn said about the competition helping them. “I think we do push each other.”
“I think we have great camaraderie,” he said.
McQuinn continued to rewrite the Bradford record book in the discus Friday.
He broke the school record with a throw of 153-11 in his second throw in the prelims and uncorked a throw of 155-4 on his second throw in the finals to break it again.
That gave the senior second behind Southeastern’s Charles Bertemes, who won with a distance of 156-0.
“It feels great (to be going to state),” McQuinn said. “That is what I have been working for. I am hoping to get in the 160s at state.”
He wasn’t sure his second-place throw was that far.
“I really didn’t know,” he said. “I was surprised when they said the distance.”
Hildebrand, a state-placer in the shot put last year as a freshman, was in fifth going to the finals after two fouls and a throw of 134-9.
His second throw in the finals of 145-11 moved him up to third.
“I have been struggling the last couple weeks,” Hildebrand, who threw 166-0 earlier this season, said. “I think it was just mental, knowing I didn’t make it to state last year in the discus. I would think having been over there before is going to help me this time.”
As the two sat next to each other in awards area, both had one final statement.
“I will get him next week,” Hildebrand said with a smile about McQuinn.
McQuinn quickly retorted, “No, you wont.”
One inch is all that separated Newton long jumper Ethan Cook from a state berth.
He finished fifth in the long jump with a distance of 20-4 1-4.
Troy Christian’s Jalen Hudgins finished 10th with a distance of 19-0 1-2, while Bethel’s 3,200 relay finished 13th in 8:48.18.
In the running event semifinals, Cameron Stine led Newton, advancing with the fastest time in the 110 hurdles, 15.49 and also advancing in the 300 hurdles, 41.03.
Also advancing for Newton were the 400 relay, 44.65 and the 800 relay, 1:33.53.
For Covington, Andrew Cates advanced in the 400, 50.42; while Cade Schmelzer advanced in the 300 hurdles, 41.49.
Also advancing were the 400 relay, 45.44; the 800 relay, 1:31.92; and the 1,600 relay, 4:18.61.
For Lehman Catholic, Branden O’Leary advanced in the 300 hurdles, 41.90.
Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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