By MARK HEIMAN
COLUMBUS – A little bit of trickery and deceit went into making Hannah Gephart an all-Ohio runner.
The Findlay High sophomore has competed in just four 800-meter runs in her short career.
But the fourth one proved fruitful as Gephart placed eighth Saturday in the Division I 800 at the Ohio High School Athletic Association state track and field meet Saturday at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Gephart, who had run the 200 and 400 earlier in the year, finished the race in 2:15.88, improving on her best time by three seconds. Her teammate Shoayb Bascal placed 13th in the boys 3,200 run with a time of 9:44.22 later in the day.
“This is only my fourth time running this (race) competitively,” Gephart said. “They were training me for it without my knowing it.
“Yeah, great coaches,” she added rolling her eyes.
Gephart came out strong and moved quickly to the front and finished the first lap of the two-lap race sitting in sixth. A couple of runners passed her, but she held on to earn the all-Ohio honors.
“(Findlay girls coach Mark) Gleason told me if I do the 8, I might go state. I figured it would not hurt to try and they were right,” said Gephart, who didn’t run track her freshman year.
“I just wanted to make it out (of the race) alive. I was counting ahead the last lap and knew I was in eighth. I hoped no one would pass me.”
Gephart had entered the race with the eighth fastest qualifying time with a 2:18.17.
“I knew it would be tough. I just wanted to run my hardest and hope for the best. I could not ask for more,” Gephart said.
Bascal was hoping for more, although he entered with the 16th fastest regional qualifying mark with a 9:47.74.
“It’s a bit of a disappointment. I thought I had a shot at all-Ohio, but I was not used to that (pace),” Bascal said.
“I wanted to go under 9:30, but the first 800 split shocked me.”
Bascal, though, was able to look on the bright side.
“I’ve got one more year, so I can take this experience and get better.”
He could follows Gephart’s lead. After all she got better over a short three-week period.
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