By ROB HAMILTON
After reaching the podium in the state track meet as a member of two relays last year, Mount Gilead junior Jenna Shipman was able to do so as an individual in the Division III long jump on Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
Shipman placed seventh in the event with an effort of 17’2”. She had that jump on his third and final preliminary attempt to ensure her a spot in the top nine that would advance to the finals. While she wouldn’t better that jump in her final three attempts, she was still able to earn a spot on the podium.
“I’m really happy,” she said. “I give the glory to God. I couldn’t do it without Him or my coaches.”
In most track meets, the long jump is contested early in the competition, often before running events have started. However, on Friday, Division III field events started after all of the running events for that day had taken place.
“I wasn’t used to it, doing the four-by-four relay before the long jump,” she said. “I guess I was warmed up, though. I usually do better when I do a race first.”
That set up a competition in which the Indian athlete felt went great.
“The sand was so nice — it was perfect,” she said. “I couldn’t ask for a better day. It was a very neat experience and I hope I can come back next year.”
Her seventh-place finish provided Mount Gilead’s only two points of the day. Still, the girls’ team had won every meet it had competed in before the state meet, including both districts and regionals. Shipman noted that this season has been a great experience.
“It’s been an amazing season,” she said. “I wouldn’t change anything.”
Shipman came close to placing in another event along with teammates Rachel Bush, Bryanna Bolha and Hannah Bush. In the 3200-meter relay, the quartet missed the podium by about 3.5 seconds, finishing 10th in 9:46.44.
Shipman, Rachel Bush and Bolha also ran with Morgan Brooke in the 1600-meter relay, but didn’t advance to the finals. They had the 16th time in qualifying of 4:13.77.
Olivia Brewer finished 12th in the semifinals of the 100-meter dash in 12.78 and was 14th in the 200 with a time of 26.56. She also ran in the 800-meter relay with Brooke, Makaylee Elkin and Rebecca Kindred, where they were 15th in 1:50.12.
Mount Gilead Boys
In the Division II 1600-meter run, contested on Saturday, Austin Hallabrin nearly rallied to the podium in the final lap.
After running near the back of the pack for a good portion of the race, the Indian sophomore started to pick off runners during the final 400 meters, finishing in ninth place with a time of 4:26.21 to finish one spot away from the top eight.
Hallabrin also run on Friday in the 3200-meter relay along with Tyler Beck, Ethan Hatfield and Joseph Elson. That quartet also came close to placing, as they finished 10th in 8:03.71, roughly 2.5 seconds away from eighth place.
Also competing was Sawyer Shipman in the 300 hurdles. In Friday’s semifinal heats, he finished 13th overall with a time of 40.51.
Lydia Morgan represented the Highland track program in the Division II meet. Competing in the semifinal heats of the 300-meter hurdles Friday afternoon, the Highland junior placed 15th with a time of 49.99.
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS