Rizor, Harris place at state
By ROB HAMILTON
With a fourth-place finish in the Division III girls’ pole vault last Friday, Shelby Rizor continues to climb the podium to what she hopes will be a 2013 state championship.
As a freshman, she competed in the state meet, but didn’t place. Last year, she reached the podium in eighth place as a sophomore.
In this year’s meet, she outlasted most of the competition on her way to taking fourth place with a cleared height of 11’8”.
“I’m pretty proud of fourth,” she said. “It’s a big step up from eighth.”
She cruised through her first few heights with no problems before missing on all three of her attempts at 12 feet.
“I’ve only gotten 12 feet once this year (at districts),” she said. “The wind was messing me up. I’d get down towards the pit and it’d start swirling. It also might have been nerves.”
One thing that might have been causing nerves was actually having competition for placement at the top of the podium. In the district and regional meet, she cleared 12’ and 11’8” respectively while the next-closest competitor only surpassed 9’. In the state meet, 10 of the 16 girls in the event cleared 10’ or better.
“Mainly when I come in to the meet, it’s me, myself and I,” she said. “It’d be nice to see more competition during the regular season, but when I come here, there’s a lot.”
Rizor is hoping that next year, she finishes on top of all that competition.
“Next year, I want to actually win it,” she said. “Three seniors finished one-two-three this year and I was fourth, so hopefully I’ll be first.”
Another Indian track athlete, Ethan Harris, also reached the podium by placing eighth in the 300 hurdles.
In Friday’s prelims, the junior finished with the eighth-fastest qualifying time of 40.4. Then, in Saturday’s finals, he finished eighth of nine competitors in 40.51 to snare the final spot on the podium.
“It was a little rough,” he said of his finals race. “I clipped a bunch of hurdles — it wasn’t my cleanest race. I used my God-given talent enough to get eighth place.”
In the regionals, Harris claimed his personal best time of 39.58, which he noted would have put him higher on the podium.
“My P.R. would have put me fifth or sixth,” he said. “I had a little too much juice going — I was too excited.”
Another Mount Gilead athlete, Jessie Baldridge, competed in the discus where she closed out her high school athletic career by placing 16th with a throw of 99’7” after fouling on her first two attempts.
Northmor’s Ethan Nichols closed out his high school career with a second straight appearance in the Division III state meet’s pole vault.
While Nichols wasn’t able to place in the event for a second-straight year, he did take 11th place by clearing 13’.
Five underclassmen members of the Northmor girls’ team also competed in the state meet.
In the shot put, junior Kris Pfister placed 16th with a top effort of 32’5.5”. Freshman Allie Tupps competed in the prelims of the 400, where she finished her race in 1:02.39.
Also, the 400-meter relay team of Tupps, Chantel Cline, Tayler Coulson and Gabrielle Woods finished with the 13th best time of 52.72.