Lake’s Little places in two events at state


DAYTON — Lake freshman senior Savannah Little helped lead her 4×200 relay team to a fifth place finish, then a half hour later Little finished fourth in the 400-meter run at the University of Dayton’s Welcome Stadium Saturday.

Little and seniors Kennedy Eckman, Vayda Delventhal, and Brianna Braatz finished the relay in 1:42.74, just one-hundredth of a second behind fourth place Tallmadge (1:42.73).

The winning relay team from Akron Buchtel set a state record in 1:39.01, so that is what the Flyers were up against.

“It’s pretty crazy,” Eckman said. “We did it. It feels good. I have lot of trust in my team and our seniors really guided me here.”

Braatz added, “This team is really great. We didn’t know if Vayda was going to come back and run with us, so we are really thankful to have Savannah come up. We knew we had the talent to make it this far and I’m glad we were able to finish it out.”

Braatz qualified for state in three events, including the 100- and 200-meter run, but she did not reach the finals in either of the sprint events.

“It means a lot, especially in my senior year,” Braatz said. “It’s always a goal to go to state, but to go in three events was something I’m so thankful for, and I’m blessed to be here with my relay.”

With just enough time to catch her breath, Little finished the 400 in 56.44, good enough for fourth, but she had finished in third during the preliminaries.

She was right in the mix in the finals, finishing just over a second behind the champion, Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown junior Jane Kennedy (55.14).

Little barely trailed the other two who barely beat her to the finish — Toledo Central Catholic junior Nyla King (55.27) and Gates Mills Hawken senior Leila Metres (56.42), who beat Little by one-fiftieth of a second.

It might be noted that King was a two-time state winner in the 100 and 200, which demonstrates what Little was up against.

“The 400 is a very hard run, I’ll say that,” Little said. “It’s very much a mental battle to make sure that you are moving yourself and pushing to the end.

“I was definitely nervous, tried to put this on myself and it’s hard to push to the finish,” Little continued. “I’m very truly blessed to be able to compete with these girls who are way older than me.

“I’m proud of myself even if I fell short from being top three, and I’m proud of them, my teammates, to push me every day.”

She credited Lake coach Jason Schober and Braatz for being her mentors her first year on the varsity track team, placing in two events at the state meet.

“I’ve had really encouraging coaches who have been there helping me and my teammates,” Little said. “I’m very fortunate to be a part of the team that I am part of and experience these experiences.

“Bre was my senior this year. I truly looked up to her. I played soccer with her as well, so I got to know her in track. She was always there helping me and pushed me and be there to encourage me.”

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