SE’s England brilliant, but Margaretta freshman just a little better at state meet

Tigers’ senior runner-up in pole vault for 2nd-straight year

PHOTO BY REBECCA PADULA Seneca East's Morgan England finishes runner-up in the pole vault clearing 12-6 in the Division III State Track & Field Tournament at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

COLUMBUS — Most other years, what Seneca East’s Morgan England did Friday would have been enough for a state title.

In fact, the 12-6 that England cleared in the pole vault during the Division III OHSAA Track and Field Championships would have been the top height reached in each of the last three years here.

But it wasn’t enough this year.

Margaretta freshman Kenna Stimmel cleared 12-10 on her second try, and then cleared 13-0 ¼.

That was a Division III state meet record, and Stimmel was in the process of trying to top it when the event was halted due to lightning in the area.

It is the second-consecutive year that England has been the runner-up. Last season, she was edged by Stimmel’s older sister, Kassidie.

It was England’s fourth time at state, and fourth time placing.

But her goals this year were higher.

“Everybody had a good day; (Stimmel’s) a good jumper and I have to accept that,” England said. “She’s my friend; everybody is my friend. I’m glad she jumped so well. She’s kicking butt right now.”

England had hoped to reach 13-1, which would not only have been a state record, but beaten her father Gary’s prep mark.

Gary England is the SE vault coach.

“We tried,” he said. “We’ve got more to do.”

That’s because England will compete at the University of Findlay next year. She said that even though her last state meet didn’t finish like she hoped, she still was proud.

“There’s a lot of people who wish they were in my spot right now, and that’s what keeps me thinking to be grateful for it,” she said. “Just because I didn’t reach my goal doesn’t mean I don’t have something to be grateful for.”

England was one of a number of area athletes who placed in field events Friday.

While England was making her fourth appearance at state, Calvert long jumper Zoe Meyer was making her first.

The junior registered a 16-3 in the long jump, good enough for eighth.

Meyer was pleased that she ended up on the podium, but disappointed because she said she could have done better.

She fouled three times, and that was after going 16-3.

“I felt like I was jumping well,” she said. The board just wasn’t working for me. The board was fantastic; I just kept fouling, unfortunately.”

Meyer said she wasn’t nervous.

“My form felt good; I felt great today,” she said. “I feel like, if I could have scooted my foot back two inches, it would have been great jumps; it would have been a peak, you could say. I didn’t really let the pressure get to me, I don’t think. I’ve been in this situation a handful of times, where I get in my zone, focus in and not let anything else bother me. But it was a successful day, a good first appearance.”

Bellevue’s Austin Thompson had a similar experience in the Division II boys pole vault.

He cleared 14-6 to take fifth in the event, but felt he was close to finishing higher.

“I didn’t do too bad, but I mean, form was kind of weird,” he said. “I usually do really bad in the heat, but today, I stepped out pretty good. The last jump that I missed, I cleared by a lot, and I knocked the (bar) with my foot. That was disappointing.”

The champion was Blaine Brokschmidt of Miami East. He cleared 15-6.

“I know I’m capable of more than (14-6),” Thompson said. “When they were jumping 15-6, I can do that. It’s disappointing I couldn’t show the people here that I was capable of that.”

Mohawk’s Taeylor Mullholand was disappointed after the Division III girls high jump.

The sophomore’s personal record in the event is 5-6, and she cleared 5-4 as a freshman at the state meet last year, finishing third.

But it was a difficult return for the Warrior. She cleared 5-2 and finished 10th.

Mullholand cleared her first height, 4-10. She cleared 5-1 and 5-2, each on the third try.

Mullholand came very close to clearing 5-3 on her first. But she was unable to make the height.

“I’m just really upset with myself, and disappointed that I couldn’t get up to my PR today,” Mullholand said. “And I was really hoping I could go through clean on all the heights, but I just had a bad day. It happens.”

Mullholand will have a chance to be back as a junior and senior.

She said she’s planning on it.

“I am ready to come back next year and really prove I’m going to be better,” Mullholand said.

That’s what Cleveland said she is expecting.

“We’re gonna come back again,” she said. “We’re gonna make next year better than this year. … She has a bright future. We haven’t seen the last of Taeylor.”

Old Fort’s Mason Salas competed in the boys Division III high jump and finished in a three-way tie for 12th. He cleared 6 feet.