COLUMBUS: Green senior Morgan Estes entered this track-and-field season with a goal of clearing 13 feet in the pole vault.
She accomplished the mission at the best possible time Saturday in the Division I state meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Estes cleared 13 feet, ¼-inch to set a meet and state record and win her second consecutive state title. She attempted 13-3 and nearly set a record for all divisions.
“I am ecstatic,” Estes said. “I knew I wanted to get all of the records, which would have been 13-2, but I made a nice effort at 13-3. I couldn’t be happier right now.”
The crowd became captivated by Estes’ vaulting abilities and focused on her final jumps.
“I didn’t bring my chest up fast enough, so I brushed it [the bar] on the way down,” she said of the final try at 13-3. “I was over it, but I needed to move a little faster.”
After Estes won, she hugged Fairless junior Allyson Simmons, a close friend who won the Division II state girls pole vault title with a vault of 12-5¼.
“This means everything,” Estes said. “I have been working as hard as I could for the past two years in indoor and outdoor. I go to a strength coach and he helps me. I am just glad it came all together, especially today. I was more nervous today because I knew this was my last chance to do what I knew I could, I just hadn’t yet.”
Green coach Dan Gourley praised Estes for her effort on a warm day under the sun.
“Morgan is going to Kent State and I think they will do a great job coaching her,” Gourley said. “The guys she works with at the club she belongs to do an excellent job. She did a great job today and accomplished her goal.”
Nordonia senior snags title
Nordonia senior Taylor McDonald won the girls 300-meter hurdles title in 42.30 seconds.
“This feels great,” McDonald said. “I am happy I got first. I would have been mad if I didn’t win in my senior year. My ankle was hurting, but I got through it.”
McDonald, a Troy University recruit, returned to her usual black socks to go with her colorful shoes to win. She also placed sixth in the 100 hurdles in 15.14, directly behind GlenOak senior Jhni Fleming, who was fifth in 15.13.
Perry girls win relay
The Perry girls won the 1,600-meter relay title in 3:48.59 with sophomore Charliee Strickland and seniors Jackie Genetin and Mikayla Dearing, and junior Hannah Luke.
“When Mikayla came around and was in first, I got the baton and thought, ‘I am not giving this up,’ ” Luke said. “I just tried to take it as hard as I could.”
Luke was also fourth in the 200 (24.87) and seventh in the 100 (12.44).
Green junior Emily Hooker (55.19) and Canton McKinley senior Daziah Green (55.39) finished third and fourth in the Division I girls 400 race.
Area girls who placed third were: Cuyahoga Falls senior Nicole Waibel (pole vault, 12-0), McKinley junior Korrin Taylor (long jump, 18-3) and North Canton Hoover junior Julie Worley (high jump, 5-4).
Athletes in fourth were: McKinley senior Jeff Richardson (200, 21.92), Marlington senior Anthony Wilks (discus, 179-11), Walsh Jesuit junior Melinda Renuart (1,600, 5:02.09) and Twinsburg junior Garrett Crichlow (1,600, 4:11.30).
Lake senior Jaylyn Vance (long jump, 17-6) and Cuyahoga Falls junior Nicole Rozsa (pole vault, 11-9) each placed fifth.
Earning sixth places were Green senior Erika Rector (800, 2:13.38), Tallmadge junior Brian McGovern (800, 1:53.68), Hudson sophomore Kyle Mau (1,600, 4:13.19) and McKinley senior Chris Daniels (shot put, 57-3¼).
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.