Thanks to a pair of third-place finishes, the Mount Gilead girls’ track team finished 14th at the Division III state meet with 14 points.
Jenna Shipman took third place in the long jump, as did Olivia Brewer in the 100. Shipman also placed seventh in the 800 to provide her team’s final two points on the weekend.
It was Shipman’s second straight year of placing in the long jump, as she was seventh in that event last year. While she fouled on four of her six jumps on Friday, the other two tries were more than enough. On her first attempt, she went 17’, which placed her fourth entering the finals. There, she leapt 17’6” on her first try to move up to third place, where she remained for the rest of the competition.
“I only jumped two good ones and the rest were fouls,” she said. “I just wanted to get better than seventh.”
Earlier on Friday, Shipman competed in the 3200-meter relay. During the roughly three hours between events, she just tried to get rested for the long jump.
“I just went back to the tent and stuck my legs up and tried to relax,” she said.
Brewer ran 12.54 in the 100-meter dash semifinals on Friday to enter Saturday’s finals with the fourth-fastest time. She would then improve on that time, running the race in 12.45 to move up to third place.
“It was so exciting,” she said. “Going in fourth, it’s so awesome to get third! I went to bed pretty early (Friday night) and didn’t fall asleep right away, but woke up and was ready to run.”
The Indian junior had competed in the state meet, both in relays and as an individual, during her first two years of high school, but hadn’t made the finals, making this year’s experience even more sweet.
“It feels so good,” she said. “I wanted to be on the podium. It’s a really neat thing to be a part of.”
On Saturday, Shipman added to her hardware by placing seventh in the 800 with a time of 2:16.92. Despite the fast time, competing in the event wasn’t necessarily the most fun she’d had on the track during her four years with the Indians.
“I got trapped once and elbowed a few times, but I guess that’s state,” she said.
While she entered the race with a strategy, the fast pace that was set put an end to that.
“For the first lap, I tried to be about 67 seconds and think I ran 64,” she said. “After that, I just wanted to run as hard as I could.”
The Indian senior, who will move on to the University of Findlay to run both track and cross country, noted that placing on the podium in both the long jump and 800 was a good way to end her high school career.
“Since last year, I wanted to give it my all and see what I could do before college,” she said.
Shipman almost reached the podium a third time. On Friday, she competed in the 3200-meter relay along with Micah James, Hannah Bush and Darcy Picker. The quartet just missed placing, finishing ninth in 9:52.52.
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS