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Girls state track: BG's Horrigan wins pole vault (6-7-14) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kevin Gordon, Sentinel Sports Editor   
Saturday, 07 June 2014 22:49
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Bowling Green's Maria Horrigan eyes the pole while completing a successful vault of 12ft 3in during the Division I girls pole vault event Saturday, June 7, 2014, at the 2014 OHSAA State Track and Field Tournaments in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
COLUMBUS — Moments following her state championship in the pole vault Saturday, Maria Horrigan already was looking ahead to next season.
She was contemplating back-to-back titles, another shot at breaking the state and state-meet records, and significantly adding to her personal best.  MEET RESULTS
For now, though, the Bowling Green junior will have to be happy with her impressive performance at the Division I state track and field meet.
She earned the championship with a personal-best vault of 12-10 1/4 to win by just more than seven inches.  PHOTO GALLERY
By finishing in the top eight, she received All-Ohio honors.
Three other girls from Wood County high schools also had All-Ohio performances with third-place finishes.
They were Perrysburg’s Courtney Clody in the 800 and teammate Taylor Monheim in the 3,200 in Division I, and Rossford’s Regan Clay in the 400 in Division II.
Horrigan entered Jesse Owens Stadium as the prohibitive favorite and she vaulted well.
“It’s awesome coming out and performing the way I expected to,” Horrigan said. “I’m really proud of the outcome. Being a state champion proves my hard work has paid off. I’m extremely happy.”
She broke her own school record of 12-10 last week at the Amherst Steele regional. The vault was the best in the state this season and seven inches higher than any other during the regionals.
Only six of the 16 competitors cleared 12-0 or better Saturday.
After clearing 12-10 1/4, Horrigan moved the bar to 13-1/2 in an attempt to break the state and state-meet record of 13-1/4 set last season by Uniontown Green’s Morgan Estes, who graduated after last season.
Horrigan missed on all three attempts as the vaulters were jumping into the wind. She also tried to break the state record at the regional.
“I was tired at that point, but that’s my goal for next year,” she said. “Not getting that state record drives me even more for next year.
Horrigan was competing at state for the third time. She was third as freshman when she cleared 11-8, but only tied for 13th last season at 10-6.
Last season’s state finish served as motivation for this season. She increased her strength and conditioning and finished second at the indoor state meet with a vault of 11-9.
Her goal for next season is to clear at least 13-6.
“Being here for the third time gives me a sense of what I have to do and gives me the feel of what it’s like to compete here, so it’s nothing new,” Horrigan said.
Clody was third in 2:10.02 in a disputed finish, won by Worthington senior Ashley Forte in 2:09.55. Centerville junior Alexa Jennings was the runnerup in 2:09.73.
Forte was leading with about 30 meters left and was trying to hold off Jennings and Clody. Forte, running in the inside lane, moved across Lanes 2 and 3 to cut off Jennings and Clody and hold on for the win.
Jennings or Clody might have won, if not for being cut off. Centerville immediately asked meet officials to review a video of the race for the interference, but was told video review is not allowed under meet rules.
Forte and Jennings also appeared to trade elbows after Forte made her move.
Clody — who will run trackand cross country at Ohio State in the fall — was bidding for a second state title after joining Monheim on the Yellow Jackets’ winning 3,200 relay team Friday.
“That really threw me off. I kind of had to stutter-step backwards to catch myself,” Clody said. “That’s not what anyone wants to have happen at the state meet. I thought maybe there was a chance (of a protest going through), but you just have to deal with what happens here. I wasn’t ready for that today.
“After I crossed the line, I thought I shouldn’t let that happen and be in the position to be cut off. That’s partly my fault. I’ll have to deal it. I wish that wouldn’t have happened because now I have more regrets than I usually would.”
Clody led the first lap, but couldn’t hang on as Forte took the lead with more than 200 meters left.
“Leading the first lap worried me a little, but I put it aside and just went for it,” Clody said. “It definitely came back to get me because that last stretch I didn’t have as much energy as I normally have.”
Clody opted not to run the 1,600 so she’d be fresh for the 800. Her regional time in the 800 was the best of the 16 state qualifiers. Her 1,600 time was ninth-fastest.
Monheim was third in 10:51.16 in 3,200.
“I’m so happy to go out with this finish,” she said. “I just went into today confident and didn’t put any pressure on myself.”
Clay had a personal-best time for the second straight day as she finished the 400 in 56.03. The freshman appeared to pass three runners in the final 75 meters.
“My finish is my strong suit,” said Clay, a state qualifier in the 200 as well, although she didn’t make the finals. “I expected to get fifth or sixth, so I’m really pleased — to be on the awards podium (for the top-eight finish) and run my best time, that’s all you can ask. I learned a lot this year and that will help me get better next season.”
Last Updated on Monday, 09 June 2014 08:34
 

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