Clouse, Lykins lead competitors after prelims

PHOTO BY REBECCA PADULA Old Fort's Jenna Clouse participates in the 100 hurdles prelims in the Division III State Track & Field Tournament at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Friday.

COLUMBUS — After a pair of preliminary hurdles races at the Division III OHSAA Track and Field Championships Friday, Old Fort senior Jenna Clouse said she just wanted an opportunity to be better.

She will get that chance.

Clouse ran the preliminaries for the 100 hurdles in 15.52 seconds, then ran the 300 hurdles in 45.92 seconds. Both times were good enough to advance her to today’s finals.

“I think I did what I needed to do to move on,” Clouse said. “I’ve just got to go out and be better.”

She cut it close in the 100. She had the ninth-best time, and was the last person to secure a finals spot. In the 300, she had the fifth-best time.

Clouse said it’s a couple of very competitive events.

“We’re all so close,” she said. “I’m excited to get that chance (in the finals).”

It was a tough afternoon on and off the track. The competitions were halted at about 3:20 p.m. due to lightning, and didn’t resume until well into the evening.

But by that time, another area athlete had punched her ticket to the finals.

That was Carey’s Addystin Lykins, a junior who competed in three events here Friday.

She reached the finals in the 400, running in 58.51 seconds. Hopewell-Loudon’s Abbi Roerdink also competed in the race, but didn’t make finals. She was 11th in the prelims in 1:00.58.

Lykins has the sixth-best time going into today’s race.

“It helps your self-esteem to know, ‘OK, coming into this, I have a good seed time, I’m expected to do well,'” Lykins said. “So you kind of have that in the back of your mind. I knew it was gonna be a push the entire time. I couldn’t let up. I had to beat someone on the curve and that’s exactly what I went out and did.”

Now, Lykins has an opportunity to get exactly what she hoped for.

“I just have to beat one person, I make podium,” she said, “and that’s all I wanted to do.”

Lykins also ran in the 200, but missed out on finals by going 26.51 seconds, the 15th-best time. She also was part of the Blue Devils’ 4×200 squad that took 14th in the preliminaries, running 1:48.3. Lykins was joined by Abby Allison, Addi Miller and Ellison Roark.

“Handoffs are key. Our handoffs were not the best today,” Lykins said. “We still ran a pretty good time. Obviously not the time we wanted to run, but definitely … better than we have run in the past. I really just think it’s handoffs that did it. We have three people who never ran on the track (at Jesse Owens) before, they were all pretty nervous … but I’m proud of us. We placed better than we were (expected).”

No other area entries advanced.

Hopewell-Loudon’s 4×400 squad of Corrin Hoover, Peyton Hoover, Elizabeth Wells and Roerdink finished 17th in 4:17.76.

Carey’s boys had two relays competing, with Andrew Bell, Austin Hertel, Griffin Summit and Bryce Conti running the 4×200 and the 4×400.

The Blue Devils ran the 4×200 in 1:38.14 for 18th, and the 4×400 in 3:28.63 for 11th.

The top two finishers in each heat, and then the next top five times, advanced to finals.

In Division II, Bellevue’s Sydney Waskielis — after a nearly four-hour weather delay — ran the girls 300 hurdles in 47.03 seconds. She was 13th.

In the Division I boys meet, Clyde’s Adam Koviak ran the 400 in 50 seconds. He was sixth in his heat.