OF’s Clouse, Carey’s Lykins top area efforts

Stockader goes 4th in 300 hurdles, Blue Devil fifth in 400, Lakota’s Cozette seventh in 3,200

PHOTO BY JOHN MONTGOMERY Old Fort’s Jenna Clouse (right) and Garaway’s Carly Jacobs compete in the finals of the 300 hurdles at the Division III OHSAA Track and Field Championships at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium Saturday in Columbus.

COLUMBUS — The 100 hurdles final didn’t go as Old Fort’s Jenna Clouse had hoped.

But she had another chance to end her prep career on a high note.

After finishing ninth in the 100 hurdles in 15.84 seconds, Clouse returned for the 300 hurdles.

This time, things went how she wanted. She ran 45.94 seconds in the event, securing a spot on the podium and placing fourth.

Clouse admitted she was down after missing podium in her first race.

“That was really heartbreaking for me. Just to be so close to getting it, but not,” she said. “But I think that after having a quick moment to get myself together, I got to come back, and I got a chance not every girl here gets to have, and I got a chance no other girl gets to have, doing better in a different race. I’m very thankful for that.”

Clouse then made that chance a success.

“I knew I wanted to start off really fast, so I started off really good for the first hurdle,” she said. “Then I just kept trying to keep my eyes up as I ran. And then, last 100 just gave it all that I have left, and it worked in my favor.”

It was especially sweet for Clouse, because she had been here before. She advanced to the state meet in the 300 hurdles as a sophomore, but didn’t place. Last year, she missed out on state.

“It means a lot to me, because, just from fall starting last year and knowing I could have been here, it was just so rewarding to finally see everything come together and get where you want to be,” she said.

Another veteran of the state meet, Carey’s Addystin Lykins advanced in two individual events this year, and one relay. She made finals in the 400, and ran her way to fifth Saturday.

Lykins ran the 400 in 57.23 seconds.

“I’m really, really excited,” Lykins said. “I’ve been going for this every year I’ve been in track, so to finally make it up on the podium is so awesome. The race really hurt, but it’s OK, because I made it on the podium.”

Lykins said she got out fast in the 400.

“I knew that I had to go hard, and I always envision myself running, and I had a vision of me sprinting the whole time,” she said. “And I tried to do that, but I got halfway through, I was like, ‘I can’t do that.’ So, I kinda stepped back to my usual running, which is go hard first, then just accelerate into it, which helps. Maybe if I hadn’t have went so hard at the beginning, I would have placed better, but it’s OK. On the podium, that’s all I wanted to do, so I’m really happy with that.”

Lakota’s Reilly Cozette ended her first trip to state Saturday running seventh in the 3,200, crossing the line in 11:44.5.

“I just wanted to stay as relaxed as possible and just see where it would place me at the beginning for the first mile and go from there,” the sophomore said. “I just wanted to medal overall; any place would have been fine, so I’m really happy with how it went.”

Getting that chance nearly didn’t happen. She was setting sixth with 200 meters to go at the regional before powering her way to second and a trip to Columbus.

“I was so proud of myself because even going into regionals, I didn’t think I was going to get out from there, so being here and on the podium is a real accomplishment for the season,” she said.

“I was really proud to be here and run with everyone,” Cozette said.

“I think regionals really set me up for it because I didn’t really run anywhere else that had a lot of competition,” she said. “I kind of knew what I was getting myself into also because of cross (country) season, so I just expected everyone to go out fast and it was definitely really nerve racking.”

Carey’s Sarah Reinhart also ran in the 3,200. She ended 13th in 11:59.04

Lakota junior Braden Schaser finished 15th in the boys 3,200 (10:12.29).

Sports writer John Montgomery contributed to this story.