Springfield's Durden, BG's Horrigan soar high at state meet


COLUMBUS — Springfield's Manny Durden and Bowling Green's Maria Horrigan shared some things in common on Saturday at the Division I state track meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Both had to scale new heights in their respective field events.

Durden the high-jump bar. Horrigan the pole-vault bar.

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Both executed their craft better than anyone else on their way to becoming state champions before an announced crowd of 14,504.

Durden won the boys high jump after clearing 6 feet, 10 inches.

The Springfield senior was second at the D-II state meet when he was a sophomore at Rossford. He wasn't cleared by the OHSAA to compete during his junior year after transferring to Springfield.

“It means a lot because it was two long years since I could compete,” Durden said. “I had a lot of redemption after being second in the state.

“This means a lot to represent my community, to come out here and become a state champ.”

Horrigan won the girls pole vault with a personal-record height of 12-10.25.

“It's amazing and it proves that my hard work has paid off,” Horrigan said.

It was the third year in a row for the junior to reach the state meet. However, the first two years didn't end with her standing on the top step of the awards stand.

“I'm happy with coming out here and performing how I expected to and I'm just really proud of the outcome,” Horrigan said.

Fremont Ross' Jared Ballenger became a champion by recording a throw of 182-10 to win the discus by more than three feet. However, he came up short of sweeping the throwing events after placing third in the shot put (59-4.50).

Southview's Malcolm Johnson came up shy of winning a state title. He earned a runner-up medal with a second place finish in the 200 with a time of 21.34. He recorded a time of 10.59 in the 100 to earn a third-place finish.

“It was a pretty good day,” Johnson said. “I can't complain getting second and third at a state meet.”

Perrysburg half-miler Courtney Clody experienced disappointment after finishing third in the 800 with a time of 2:10.02. How the race unfolded is perhaps the cause for most of her disappointment.

Clody was running practically shoulder-to-shoulder with Centerville's Alexa Jennings and Worthington's Ashley Forte with approximately 50 meters to the finish line. That's when Forte, running on the inside of the other two, cut over from Lane 1 to Lane 3, en route to stepping in front of the other two runners before crossing the finish line first with a winning time of 2:09.55.

Jennings was second (2:09.73).

Centerville's coach made a formal protest to meet officials that Forte impeded the other runners when she crossed in front of Jennings and Clody.

However, the protest didn't lead to a change with the order of finish after the track official assigned to the area didn't declare any improper actions during the finish.

“As we were coming down the straightaway I was cut off by [Forte], so I kind of had to stutter-step and step backwards to catch myself,” Clody said. “It's not what anyone wants to have happen at a state meet.”

Yellow Jackets teammate Taylor Monheim posted a third-place finish in the 3200 in a personal-record time of 10:51.16 and cracked the Top 10 at state for the first time in an individual event.

“It was awesome,” Monheim said. “My goal was to get on the podium, so to get third was something I wasn't even thinking about.

“It was so hard, but it was so worth it.”

Southview's Frank Hayes came through with a fourth-place finish in the 800 in a personal-best time of 1:53.69.

Southview's Earl Armstrong, Hayes, Jay Lawrence, and J.J. Pinckney earned a third-place finish in the 1600 relay in 3:19.66.

St. John's Tevin Brown was eighth in the 1600 after turning in a personal-best time of 4:15.68.

Titans teammate Shon Layson recorded a jump of 21-7.25 to place 11th in the long jump.

Southview's Pinckney had a slow start in the 400 final and finished seventh with a time of 48.97.

St. Francis' David St. John placed 12th in the 3200 in 9:41.38 while Central Catholic's George McCartney ran 15th (9:45.27) and Nicholas Jarrell of St. John’s finished 16th (10:06.60).

Southview's Lauren Micham, Alana Johnson, Kennedy Marable, and Chelsey Barwiler placed fifth in the 800 relay (1:41.71).

Clay's Grace Winckowski ran eighth in both the 100 hurdles (15.23) and 300 hurdles (45.39).

Clay teammates Erin Gyurke placed seventh in the 3200 in 10:55.13 and Haley Hess ran in the 1600 and placed 12th (5:11.52).

Whitmer's Alaya Hayes was seventh in the shot put (39-3 and teammate Kaitlyn Barber finished eighth in the pole vault (11-9).

Whitmer's TiTyana Gardner finished ninth in the shot put (38-5) and 14th in the discus (116-8).

Glenville’s boys won the team title while Solon won the girls team championship.

The two-day total turnout for the state track meet was announced as 27,068.

Contact Donald Emmons at: demmons@theblade.com, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.