By JAMIE BAKER
For The Review Times
COLUMBUS -- For one Elmwood runner Saturday meant the end of a terrific career, for another it was just the beginning.
But after Saturday’s OHSAA state track and field championships were complete, senior Curtis Smithey and sophomore Katie Reiser had one thing in common --- both were all-Ohioans.
Smithey finished second in the Division III boys 400-meter dash and Reiser ended up fifth in the Division III girls 100 and sixth in the 200 to highlight Saturday’s action in Columbus for area athletes.
Smithey, who also competed in the preliminaries in the 200-meter dash and the 1,600 relay Friday, capped his track career for Elmwood by earning a runner-up medal.
He crossed the finish line in 48.64 seconds. He trailed only Bluffton 4-time state champion John Guagenti who won the race in a record time of 47.46 seconds.
“That was the hardest I have ever ran the 400 and the outcome was amazing,” said Smithey, who will join Guagenti as a member of the University of Findlay track team next season. “I was fifth last year. First would be amazing, second place was my goal so I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Smithey’s time was his best of the season. He started fast and wasn’t about to let up at the finish.
“My first 200, I went out as hard as I can because I knew the wind was going to push me. Once I reached 200, I just dropped my arms and lifted my legs and just drove that last 200 meters,” Smithey said. “I just knew I had to keep pushing. I had already ran 380 meters and the last thing I wanted to happen was getting passed with 20 meters left.”
Smithey held off Gilmour Academy’s Thomas Hallal for the No.2 spot. Hallal had a faster qualifying time at regionals and that gave Elmwood’s senior standout a little added incentive heading into the weekend.
“I said if I ran a 48 today whatever place I got I’d be happy with. I thought a 48 would give me second place,” Smithey said. “I was ranked behind Hallal and that just gave me more fuel to run today.”
Reiser made a big splash for the Royals in her state track meet debut. She posted a time of 12.85 seconds on her way to her fifth place effort in the 100. Later in the day, she ran a 26.03 for sixth in the 200.
She was more than happy to have a pair of state meet medals hanging around her neck as the Division III portion of the meet was drawing to a close on a warm and muggy Saturday morning.
“My goal was just to get down here and if I made the finals I would be satisfied,” Reiser said.
“I’m happy with my places since I am a sophomore. I’m really excited and I’m going to work hard to prepare for next season.”
Two other area runners were also in action in the Division III meet Saturday.
Old Fort sophomore Alexa Stults just missed a spot on the awards stand as she ended up 10th in the girls 1,600 in a time of 5:24.78.
Lakota’s Bryce Tiell placed 13th in the boys 3,200-meter run in 10:13.49.