COLUMBUS – Elmwood senior Katie Reiser said the reality of being a two-time state champion hasn’t hit her yet.
“It just feels like another race,” Reiser said Saturday after winning the 200-meter dash at the Division III state track and field championships at Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus.
Reiser started her day in the 100-meter finals. Sidney Lehman’s Gretchen Walter ran right with Reiser for the first 70 meters or so, then Reiser turned on the afterburners.
“I felt somebody come up on me and I was like, ‘OK, let’s go,’ Reiser said “I just took off and I was good.
“It’s nice to have that extra gear come in.”
Reiser won the race in 12.16 seconds to Walters’ 12.28. The rest of the field was buried more than two-tenths behind Walter, a portend of things to come in the 200.
Before that race, though, came a one-hour delay as rains swept through the stadium. OHSHAA officials cleared the stadium of competitors and fans.
“It was actually kind of nice, I got a breather in and got that 100 celebration out of the way,” Reiser said. “We went in my coach’s van and we put down the seats and stretched out there and kept warm.”
Reiser’s coach is her cousin, Monica Arnold. Arnold was also a state champion sprinter and was Elmwood’s last champion (25.64 in the 200 in 1988). Elmwood finished the meet tied for seventh place in the girls team race with 20 points, all scored by Reiser.
Reiser came back from the delay with a dominating performance in the 200. She led from start to finish and clocked a winning time of 25.03. Walter finished a distant second in 25.37, with no one else running faster than 25.50.
“After the 100 I said to myself, ‘I’m state champion but I still have that 200,’” Reiser said. “I had to stay focused and I did. I was ready to run it.”
Reiser said she felt strong throughout the race.
I came off the curve and I felt really good. I just took off,” she said. “I love the 200, it’s just so adrenaline-filled. You come off the curve and you get so much energy. I love it.”
Even some sketchy track conditions didn’t stop her.
I had a puddle in my lane, oh my gosh,” she said. “But you run your race and you get through it.”
Reiser said she was determined to follow up on a longtime goal of winning at the state meet.
“ I said to myself that I had the best times coming in, so let’s stay there,” she said. “I always thought, ‘I am going to be state champion.’ That was my goal from the beginning.”
Walter won an event of her own, the 400, but was no match for Reiser on Saturday.
“It felt good. Gretchen got third last year, she’s a great competitor and had a great meet.”
Reiser said she’d already received more than a few congratulatory text messages after the second win, and she was beginning to get used to the idea of being a multiple state champion.
“It hasn’t kicked it yet,” she said. “It definitely will when I get home.”