Mount Gilead’s Sawyer Shipman was able to finish his high school career in style, finishing third in the 300-meter hurdles in a time of 39.48 in the Division III state track meet on Saturday.
Shipman ran 40.22 in the semifinals, giving him the fifth-fastest time and placing him in the second lane, which was just fine with him.
“Lane two is my favorite lane to be in for the 300s,” he said. “I like the tighter lanes — I feel like I’m using more leg speed, while they’re doing wider turns and I have all the other people ahead, so I can gauge what I need to get.”
Shipman advanced to the state meet in the event in Division II last year, but was unable to reach the finals, which made placing this year an even better occasion.
“It’s my last race in high school,” he said. “I couldn’t feel any better.”
The Indians also placed in the 3200-meter relay, as Kyle Ciballi, Nicholas Weiss, Casey White and Austin Hallabrin combined to run the event in 8:08.18. After Hallabrin’s second leg, the team was in first place and they were able to hold on for fifth after the final two legs to reach the podium.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Weiss. “We came in here eighth and wanted to give it our all.”
White found his first state track meet to be an exciting experience.
“I’m so excited because I’m a freshman and because I got the baton in first,” he said.
Hallabrin, who had the most state meet experience of the Indians, had some simple advice to give his teammates.
“Give all you got or stay home,” he said. “It’s all or nothing. I felt pretty fresh and wasn’t really nervous. I just wanted to do my best.”
That sentiment was felt by his teammates.
“We worked hard to get here,” said Ciballi. “It feels great.”
It seemed like Hallabrin would place in another event, as he finished the 1600 in second place after dueling for the lead for nearly the entire race. However, after the race, it was determined he had interfered with another runner on the third lap and the Indian junior was disqualified.
“I was boxed in and tried to sprint through,” he said. “I thought I had it, but I guess I clipped him with my heel.”
The DQ ruined a great race by the MG runner, as he was able to keep pace with the leader until roughly the final 100 meters.
“I was trying to keep pace after the leader and stick within striking distance,” he said.
Also competing in the 1600 was Ciballi, who finished 10th in 4:33.45. Hallabrin and Ciballi teamed with Brandon Stevens and Deondre Cook to run 11th in the semifinals in 3:29.38. Shipman was 13th in the semis of the 110 hurdles in 15.57, while Jonah Barnett finished 16th in the 200 in 23.09.
Overall, the Indian boys finished in a six-way tie for 19th place in the meet with 10 points.
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS