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“We didn’t touch 42 seconds all year,” he added. “That’s crazy. We wanted to go to state. We made sure we made it. Those teams were mainly beating us because of our handoffs. At practice we were worked hard on handoffs. We just came in here with a mindset of going to state. A 42.03 is crazy. We’ve been running in the high 43s all year and we’re going to feel good going into state this year. Our next goal is to get 41 seconds.”

“I was dehydrated today,” Hill said. “I was exhausted from this week’s training. It was kind of like state last year when I died off because of the heat. But I’m not going to put myself down because I had one bad race, but next week I’m definitely going to try to hammer down and place. This week was the peak of my training and that was another part that got to me. I’m going to peak at state and nationals. But I’m pretty happy with my place today and can’t complain.”

Amherst sophomore Alexis Alston won the open 400 (56.12), edging out Faith Baxter from Lima Shawnee (56.20). Alston also anchored the third place 4×400 relay (3:54.27) along with teammates Gracen Siegenthaler, Tori Kubasak and Audrey Fayer. She helped the 4×200 relay take fourth (1:43.10) along with Siegenthaler, Brooke Armbruster and Kubasak.

“I was doing rehab every day and I’ve stretched way more than I did last year,” Alston said. “I worked so hard to make sure I can be at state and I’m going to work as hard as I can to make the podium over there. It feels amazing to go back, especially coming out as a regional champ from my region, I’m just so pumped for state.”

After qualifying in the high jump on Wednesday, North Ridgeville senior Isabella Geraci won the long jump title with a 17-11.25. Geraci qualified in the high jump last year, and competed in the long jump this year for the first time since her freshman year.

“It feels awesome, especially now for two events,” Geraci said. “Honestly, I wasn’t really happy with how I long jumped today. But the fact I’m going to state is just super sweet. I told myself walking in today that it would be pretty sweet to go for two events. It’s awesome because I haven’t done long jump since freshman year and it’s super cool what my coach has helped me accomplish. I decided to do the long jump because I was looking at the jumps from last state meet and I was like I think I jumped pretty decent my freshman year. And I’m probably stronger this year, so I might as well try it.” Rocky River’s Leah Schellentrag took second (17-10.5) and Avon’s Kamryn Sharer took third (17-4.75). Sharer also qualified in the 100 hurdles (15.13) as a provisional qualifier with the fastest non-automatic qualifying time in the state.

“I was real happy with it,” Shoaf said. “I’m starting to peak, my body is starting to feel more fresh when I throw and everything feels a little faster. Being down to state the last couple years, I just have to remember to do my best and focus on my throw. I just have to focus on myself and not worry about anyone else’s throws.”

Lorain freshman Mikiya Hermon qualified in the 100-meter taking third (12.29), and showed people she’ll be a force for a lot of years to come. Westlake’s Dominic Bauer took fourth in the high jump with a 6-1. Amherst senior Emily King qualified in the discus throwing a PR of 120-5 for third place.