Local girls shine at state showcase

By Ben Stroup

March 12, 2014

Big Walnut’s Olivia Small garnered a pair of state crowns and Buckeye Valley’s Savannah Amato notched the best state showing of her young career over the weekend, finishing first in a pair of jumping events and second in the pole vault, respectively, at the OATCCC Indoor Track and Field Championships in Akron.

Small won the Division I long jump event with a leap of 18-04. She also took top honors in the triple jump with a showing of 37-03 1/2. Small won last year’s outdoor state long jump championship, too, clearing a distance of 19-08 3/4.

Amato, who entered the meet with a seed mark of 11-06, cleared 11-03 in the finals to nab runner-up honors. Her mark was second only to Fairless senior Allyson Simmons, who cleared 12-06 1/4 to claim the state title among Division II/III athletes. Amato’s second-place showing came on the heels of last spring’s ninth-place performance at the state outdoor meet, where she cleared 10-0.

Olentangy senior Marinice Bauman also nabbed second-place points, finishing second in the D-I 60-meter hurdles in 8.71 seconds. She closed as a state placer in the 200-meter dash, too, crossing the finish line sixth in 25.60 seconds.

Buckeye Valley sophomore Emily Hilt placed at the event, finishing tied for sixth in the D-II/III high jump thanks to an effort of 5-0 — a mark just two inches lower than the 5-2 Sheridan sophomore Natalie Eberts posted to secure state bragging rights — and Hayes senior Emily Richards finished seventh in the D-I 400-meter dash with a time of 58.71 seconds.

In boys’ action, Liberty’s 4x800 relay team (Brad Wiemels, Andrew Johnston, Chatham Anderson and Josh Wojciechowski) and Big Walnut’s Cole Stark placed. The Patriot foursome finished sixth with a time of 8:06.72 while Stark finish seventh in the triple jump with a mark of 41-07 1/2.

Among the other county standouts to qualify for the state showcase, Liberty’s girls 4x800 relay team (Claire Linn, Trinity Wiles, Claire Wiles and Stephanie Paul) and Johnston, competing in the boys’ 3,200-meter run, came closest to placing, finishing one spot away from the podium (ninth), with respective times of 9:50.44 and 9:31.30 in the two D-I events.