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Clay, LaVoy, Lake 400 relay qualify for state track meet (6-1-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kevin Gordon Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor   
Sunday, 02 June 2013 00:55
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Nicole Pennington (second from right) crosses the finishline for Lake near Oak Harbor's Rebekah Rayburn (left), Liberty Benton's Michaela Butler and Granville's Taylor Beitzel in the girls 4x100 meter relay during the District II regional track and field championships. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
LEXINGTON — Ryan Clay is headed back to the state high school track and field meet.
The Rossford senior earned a return trip to state in the 800 Saturday with a third-place finish in the Division II regional at Lexington High School.
Clay had a personal-best time of 1:54.92 to advance to state. MEET RESULTS
Defending state champion and Van Wert junior Jared Fleming won in 1:53.88, while Eastwood sophomore Tim Hoodlebrink was second in 1:54.13. PHOTO GALLERY
Joining Clay as state qualifiers were Eastwood’s Aricka LaVoy in the long jump and Lake’s 400 relay team with third-place finishes.
The top four finishers in each event qualified for next weekend’s state meet at Ohio State University. “I’m happy to be going to back to state and now that I achieved that goal, my goal next week is to win,” said Clay, whose previous best of 1:56.73 came last week when he won a district championship at Oak Harbor. He was 13th at state last season in 1:59.83.
“I know the race at state is going to be fast and there are good runners there, but I’m going down there to compete just like I do every meet. It’s going to be a good field and a good challenge.”
The regional race was a two-lap sprint, even though the runners had to go into a strong wind on the backstretch.
“I wasn’t sure what place I was going to get, but I’m happy with the time I had, especially with the conditions,” Clay said. “Those guys were smokin’. It was really fast, so I just settled in. The place might not be what I wanted, but the time was good. That’s all you can ask.”
The top five finishers were the only runners to break 1:57.
“I figured it was five of us for four spots, and I’m really confident with the way I’m running right now,” Clay said. “I know I have a strong kick and I’m just trusting myself to finish races right now.”
Clay also won the Northern Buckeye Conference championship in 1:57.87.
“This is when your time really starts dropping to get ready for these big meets like today. I feel like I’m peaking,” Clay said. “Today will help me. I’ve been running good times, but I haven’t had that good competition to push me. This is the kind of competition I’ll see next week, so it’s good.”
LaVoy finally qualified for state in the long jump after finishing 13th in the regional the last two seasons.
She jumped 16-8 to advance. Celina sophomore Bekah Carr won the event at 17-7 1/2, while Bellevue sophomore Laiken Tester was second at 16-9 1/4.
“I’m ecstatic,” said LaVoy, a state qualifier in the 400 relay last season. “This is what I’ve been working for since my sophomore and junior years and it didn’t work out then, but it finally did today. I’m thrilled.”
LaVoy’s third-place jump came on her last attempt of the finals. She was sixth after the preliminaries.
Each athlete receives three jumps during the preliminaries, with the top nine distances advancing to the finals where they receive three more jumps in an attempt to improve their distance.
“I just pushed myself to qualify for state today,” said LaVoy, whose best is 17-1. “The big thing for me was to compete and give myself a chance.”
Lake’s 400 team of seniors Rebecca Boos and Ashley Timmons, sophomore Jordyn Taylor and junior Nicole Pennington qualified for state with its third-place finish in 50.20.
Kenton won in 49.65, while Granville was second in 49.98.
Other Wood County athletes to score in the regional by placing in the top eight were:
• Girls 400 relay: Eastwood, team of sophomore Reagan Boice, LaVoy, junior Maddie Jackson and senior Hannah Firsdon, eighth (51.22).
• Boys 1,600: Otsego sophomore Brandon Avers, eighth, 1,600 (4:38.05).
• Girls 400: Rossford junior Jessie Pietrasz, fifth (59.80); and Elmwood freshman Madison Sears, sixth (60.38).
• Girls 1,600 relay: Eastwood, team of LaVoy, sophomores Kortni Montag and Elena Kirkbride and Jackson, eighth, 4:14.60.
• Boys shot put: Lake senior Mitchell Adkins, sixth, (51-9).
• Girls pole vault: Eastwood junior Elise Wolff, sixth (9-6).

 

Last Updated on Monday, 03 June 2013 09:34
 

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