COLUMBUS – On her fourth straight trip to the state meet, Swanton’s Julia Smith finally got her long-desired state title in the high jump Friday at the OHSAA State Track and Field Championships at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of the Ohio State University.
Sidney Taylor added a placement in the discus for the Bulldogs while their 400 meter relay of Bobbie Oberle, Haley Nelson, Brooke Oberle and Bridget Harlett also made the podium. These placements helped the girls finish in a four-way tie for ninth in Division III with 20 points.
For Smith, she wins the high jump after finishing third last season, making her a four-time state placer in the event.
“It’s good to finally get what I’ve been wanting the last four years. And it’s an awesome way to end my four-year run of coming here,” said Smith of her achievement. “Being undefeated ever since I won the indoor state title, it’s just the best senior year I could ask for.”
Smith won by clearing 5 feet, 7 inches. Lyssi Snouffer of Delaware Christian, who finished second, bowed out at 5-7.
The senior even had to wait out a lightning delay which lasted over an hour. Nevertheless, it did not stop her from reaching her goal.
“I had the number one seed coming in. I think through all divisions. And I didn’t let that get in my head,” she said. “I didn’t let any of my bad jumps this season get in my head.
”I just came in with a clear head. Didn’t even let the rain (delay) or anything bother me. I just said you’re here to jump, you have to do what you have to do.”
Last year’s champion and training partner of Smith, Emma Daugherty of Maumee Valley Country Day, tied for fourth at 5-2. Smith referenced their competition in helping her reach her ultimate goal.
“We’re with each other sometimes more than twice a week,” said Smith on her relationship with Daugherty. “Seeing each other succeed is what I’m gonna miss.
“I’m really sad that this era has to end.”
Taylor took third in the discus with a throw of 133-6.
“That was a great way to finish off my senior year,” she explained. “(To) come down here with my teammates and perform the way I did and set a new personal best. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
With it being her first trip to state, it could not have ended any better for the senior.
“I’m just very grateful that I made it here,” said Taylor. “Especially senior year, to cap off all my athletic careers. And then finishing the way that I did is something I won’t forget.”
Swanton’s 400m relay finished fifth with a time of 50.62. That same quartet took part in the 800m relay but did not make the finals.
On the boys side in Division III, Hunter Tresnan-Reighard of Delta made the podium in the discus. He finished eighth with a throw of 148-1.
The Swanton boys were represented by Anthony Howard in the Division II 800 meter run. Howard barely missed the podium, finishing ninth at 1:56.47.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010