Mount Gilead senior Michaela McGill finished her high school track career with a second-place finish in the 3200-meter run in the Division III state meet one year after taking eighth in that event.
“I’m not even mad I got second,” she said. “That was one of the best races I’ve ever done. I got spiked. Nothing bothered me. I finished the race and found out I was limping.”
McGill’s time of 10:57.18 was only behind Megan Hipple of McDonald’s 10:55.09. The race had a strange finish, as Hipple took off during the seventh lap and opened a big lead, only to mistakenly think the race ended after that lap and have to recover to hold off McGill for one more lap.
“I thought, ‘Here’s my chance!’” said McGill about her reaction to Hipple’s mistake.
McGill’s second-place finish in the 3200 caps a great senior year in which she also had a seventh-place finish in the state cross country meet. However, what she was most proud of was fulfilling a promise to herself set early in her high school career. After the freshman year, the team’s coaches have their athletes write letters to themselves about their future goals.
“I wrote in there, ‘I will beat Alison Johnson because I need to’,” she said. “And then I broke her record. It was great I was able to execute my goal.”
McGill will now move on to compete for the Toledo Rockets. However, she hopes she left a legacy at Mount Gilead with how she improved from her freshman year until now.
“I hope they take away that no matter how much talent you have, hard work beats talent,” she said. “I work extremely hard…all the hard work I put in led me to this moment.”
McGill wasn’t the only Mount Gilead runner to reach the podium. On Saturday, Michael Snopik finished seventh in the 1600 with a time of 4:23.68.
“It was good,” he said about his race. “I was hoping for a little bit higher ranking and faster time, but it’s not bad. My second fastest time ever.”
Snopik noted that the race had a trio of front-runners whom he wanted to keep up with.
“From what the leaders ran before and having them go so fast, I definitely wanted to go with them and go on a pace for under 4:20, but I couldn’t hold that pace.”
Now, Snopik will try to continue improving in order to maintain that same sort of running success at Ashland University.
“I’m definitely going to miss my high school running career and the guys, but I’m looking forward to college,” he said. “Each year, I try to see how much better I can get. I’m always trying to PR and place higher. It’s fun to see that kind of results happen.”
On Friday, Snopik teamed with Aaron Gannon, Ethan Honzo and Seamus Walsh to take eighth in the 3200-meter relay with a time of 8:11.46.
When Snopik got the baton, the team was currently not in the top-eight, but he was able to move up a couple spots to help the quartet reach the podium.
“I noticed we were back in 11th or so, so I just kept my eyes on the back of the people in front of me,” he said. “It definitely means a lot to get this group on the podium. We’ve been working hard all season. It means a lot. It’s me and two of my closest friends and my new friend from this summer.”
The Indians had a number of other athletes compete in the state meet. On Saturday, Parker Bartlett finished 12th in the 3200 in 9:58.05, while Will Baker was 15th in the same event in 10:06.43.
On Friday, Garrett Lamb Hart (16.12) and Gavan Davis (17.09) both competed in the preliminary heats of the 110 hurdles, but didn’t make it to the finals. Also seeing action in the prelims were three relays.
The boys’ 800-meter relay of Matthew Bland, Logan High, Kyan Davis and Quade Harris finished their race in 1:32.19. Later, Owen High teamed with Logan High, Kyan Davis and Harris to finish the 400-meter relay in 44.6. Also, the girls’ 400-meter relay of Grace Shipman, Asia Jones, Faith White and Madilyn Elson ran their heat in 51.32.
Five Cardington girls saw action at the Division III state track and field meet over the weekend.
Loey Hallabrin ran 16th in the 1600, finishing in 5:35.96. In the 400-meter relay prelims, the quartet of Hazel Jolliff, Meghan Greenawalt, Alexis Crone and Olivia Holt ran their race in 53.03.
Michael Snopik of Mount Gilead took seventh place in the 1600 at the Division III state track and field meet.
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS