McCleery, McMichael lead day one locals at state meet
Saturday, June 07, 2014 12:00 AM
By Jim Metcalfe
Lincolnview junior Hannah McCleery clears the bar during the state high jump competition in Columbus on Friday afternoon. McCleery tied a school record with a jump of 5’2”, then broke the record at 5’3”, which was good enough for a seventh-place finish and a spot on the podium. (DHI Media/Charlie Warnimont)
DHI Media Sports Editor
COLUMBUS - It’s all about the podium.
Once you get to the State Track and Field Championships at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, it’s about earning the top eight and securing a medal.
For a pair of local athletes, it was lucky “7” as the duo of Spencerville junior Trevor McMichael and Lincolnview junior Hannah McCleery finished in those spots in their respective events.
McMichael did so in the boys long jump with a personal record of 20-10 3/4; the event featured new Division III record-holder Mykale Rogers and his 24-5 1/4 jump.
“The competition I had to go up against was unbelievable and I was so proud of that. Look who I finished behind!” McMichael exclaimed. “There is no shame to finish behind these guys; they are great guys and great characters. They brought out the best of me and even though most are graduating, it gives me incentive to go even longer.”
He’s already come a long way in the last month in this event.
“In the last month, because of all the work I have done with the coaching staff, I have improved by about a foot and five inches,” he explained. “They have put in so much time with me that goes above and beyond the normal; I credit this to them. I also credit the support of my family; they constantly ask how I’m doing and they are truly interested.
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself but how much I have improved and with what the guys I competed against all year showed me, I am confident I can improve dramatically next year. I play football but not basketball, so I can spend more time than a lot of guys. I dabbled with indoor track some, too.”
McCleery competed in the girls high jump, setting her own PR of 5’3”.
“That not only is my PR but it’s a girls school record. I’m excited to finish in the top eight because I know what I cleared that, that’s where I was headed,” McCleery said. “All week, I’ve been trying to clear 5’3” and I had a great third try at that height today that I finally cleared.”
It came down to fine tuning her body control to make the difference.
“I worked all week in getting my hips higher; that’s been the problem for me clearing higher jumps because that’s where I hit the bar,” she added. “Coach (Matt) Langdon always talks about working hard all season to get to this moment. For me, all the pressure was off; you’re already here, which is what we shoot for.
“I do play three sports, so I won’t have a chance to really work on this event until next spring. I’m going to have to become a better athlete, more explosive, between now and then.”
Alas, not everyone in a Friday final made it the podium.
Ottoville freshman Brooke Mangas barely missed in the girls high jump, finishing ninth.
Spencerville junior Shania Johnson ended up 14th in the girls discus.
In preliminaries, one of the two Crestview relay teams moved on to the finals.
Crestview’s 4x100 of juniors Malcolm Oliver and Zach Jellison and sophomores Sage Schaffner and Isaiah Kline took fourth.
Those that did not advance out of the prelims were the Ottoville girls 4x400 relay of Mangas, seniors Taylor Mangas and Karin Wendeberg and freshman Madison Knodell, 12th; Taylor Mangas, 13th in the 300-meter hurdles; the Crestview boys 4x400 of Jellison, Kline, senior Michael Hansard and junior Alex Cunningham, 12th; and Lincolnview sophomore Hunter Blankemeyer, 11th in the 110-meter hurdles.
In Division II, the lone local to advance to Saturday’s running finals was Van Wert junior Nicholas Krugh, who placed eighth in the boys 200-meter dash.
The Cougar boys 4x400 of Krugh, juniors Quincy Salcido and Hunter Perl and sophomore Tymon Moore did not move on, ending up 12th.
Lady Cougar junior Whitney Meyers was 13th in the 300-meter hurdles.
Saturday’s session begins with Division II field events at 9 a.m. and Division III running events at 9:30 a.m.