By TED RADICK
COLUMBUS – Hardin Northern’s Shelby Stump was in the middle of getting warmed up for the 400-meter final Saturday at Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus.
Then the weather hit, forcing a one-hour delay in the Division III state track and field championships.
“I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’” Stump said. “I was sitting there getting stretched out, and then they said we were going to have a delay.
“So then we had to warm back up. You have to get your mind set right and get ready to go.”
Stump sure didn’t seem to have any problems getting ready as she finished second in the race in 58.44 seconds.
“I was more nervous before the rain delay,” said Stump, a junior. “Afterwards, I just wanted to go. I just wanted to run.”
Stump made up some ground on Saturday – she entered the race with the fifth-best time after Friday’s preliminary races. A crowd of supporters urged her on in the final.
“It’s really great to have a whole group of fans. Not just from my school and my family, but all the girls from the area schools were cheering me on,” she said. “That really helps, especially here where you need that extra push.”
Stump said finishing second (Sidney Lehman’s Gretchen Walter, also a finalist in the 100 and 200, won the race in 57.26 on a rain-puddled track) will motivate her for next year.
“I didn’t get get first, but that’s OK. I felt good, I didn’t feel like I was going to cramp up like I did last year,” she said. “Last year I ran a 59 and I felt like my legs couldn’t take it. That’s something to build on for next year. Next year maybe I can run a 55 and then I don’t have to worry about my body shutting down on me.”
Liberty-Benton and McComb finished with the highest team scores among area teams. Those two tied for 11th place overall with 15 points. Versailles won the Division III girls title with 47½ points, followed by Gates Mills Gilmour Academy (36) and Steubenville Central Catholic (34).
McComb’s Jena Kryling grabbed a podium spot, finishing eighth in the 300 low hurdles in 46.58. Liberty-Benton had three relay teams in the finals Saturday.
The L-B 400 and 800 relay teams each fininshed sixth, with times of 50.48 and 1:46.05, respectively. The 1,600 relay team was fifth in 4:06.15.
“We’re just a second or two off the school record in all the races,” said junior Taylor Allen, who ran all three events. “We’re hoping since we’re all back next year that we can achieve those.”
“It was nice to be up on the podium with these girls there knowing that we did our best,” said sophomore Laura Fish, part of the 1,600 relay.
St. Wendelin senior Jaunna Gase went out with a bang, scoring a career-best fifth place in the 100 intermediate hurdles.
“I just wanted sixth or above, that was my goal,” said Gase, who ran a 15.36. “It’s an amazing feeling. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“My sophomore year I made it in three (events), so junior year it was a disappointment I only made it in one.
“This year it was kind of sad I only made it in one, but you know what, some people never get the experience to even come down here and I appreciate it a lot.”
Ottoville junior Shayla Siefker also finished fifth. She ran a 5:09.29 in the 1,600. Bluffton got a seventh-place finish from sophomore Lydia Guagenti, who competed in four events over the weekend, in the 400 (59.15) and an eighth from sophomore Hannah Chappell-Dick in the 800 (2:19.67).
“The pace is crazy. It’s hard and it hurts and it’s just such a rush,” Chappell-Dick said. “I’d love to come back here next year.”
Other area Division III finishes:
800 – 9, Molly Maag, Ottoville 2:22.49. 10, Krystin Reiser, Patrick Henry 2:23.44. 14, Shelby Wilson, McComb 2:28.05.
3,200 – 10, Sarah Flickinger, Pandora-Gilboa 12:01.96.