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Published: Sunday, 6/3/2007

Rebels' Graham typifies day of hot, cold emotions

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Rogers  Erik Kynard cleared 6-9, same as the state champ, but had to settle for second place.
Rogers Erik Kynard cleared 6-9, same as the state champ, but had to settle for second place.
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COLUMBUS - The emotions ran hot and cold yesterday for area competitors at the Division I state track meet.

Bowsher's Meshawn Graham represented that as well as anyone at Ohio State University's Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Graham started the afternoon dashing to victory in the 100 meters with a time of 12.08. It represented her second individual state championship in three years after winning the 200 as a freshman.

However, Graham's hopes of pulling off a rare sweep of the 100, 200 and 400 didn't materialize. The Bowsher junior followed up her victory by running one of the fastest 400s in the nation, a personal-best 52.51. But Euclid's Jessica Beard won the race by breaking her own state record (53.03) with a blistering 51.63 - tops in the nation this year.

Graham's day ended painfully with her pulling up with a hamstring injury at the end of the 200. She was running third behind Beaumont's Aareon Payne and Anthony Wayne's Erika Schmidt when she pulled up and fell to the ground 10 meters from the finish. Graham got up and still finished fifth in 24.97.

Bowsher coach Mark Coe said Graham's hamstring began to bother her at the end of the 100. They wrapped it immediately after that race and kept it wrapped until the 400.

"She complained about it after the 100 but she's such a competitor that even with the pain and the grind in the 200 she still felt she could win it," Coe said.

Payne set a state record of 23.65 while helping her team to the title with 44 points. Glenville claimed its fifth straight boys state championship after scoring 66 points.

Anthony Wayne s Erika Schmidt fi nished second in the 200 in 23.94 while Bowsher s Meshawn Graham, who won the 100 and was second in the 400, pulled up in pain and was fifth in 24.97. Anthony Wayne s Erika Schmidt fi nished second in the 200 in 23.94 while Bowsher s Meshawn Graham, who won the 100 and was second in the 400, pulled up in pain and was fifth in 24.97.
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Schmidt, the fastest sprinter in AW history, became one of the state's all-time fastest by running second in a personal-best 23.94. She ran fifth in the 100 (12.36) and ran legs on the Generals' 800 and 1600 relay teams.

"I was really happy with the way things went for me today," said Schmidt, a sophomore. "Things really clicked for me, especially in the 200."

Schmidt ran with Cami Deeds, Danielle Thomas and Megan Marzec to finish fifth (3:56.07) in the 1600 relay in 3:56.07. Schmidt, Deeds, Marzec and Ashley Zaper ran seventh

(1:41.53) in the 800 relay.

Rogers' Erik Kynard just missed out on a state championship in the high jump. He cleared 6-9 along with Clayton Northmont's Mike Foley. However, Foley did it with one less jump.

"It came down to misses," said Kynard, a sophomore who has cleared 6-10 before and placed fourth in last year's state meet.

"It was an all right day. It beats the fourth place from last year.

"I'll be back."

Bowsher senior Aeric Clay entered the 100 finals as a two-time state runner-up, and was in position to give Bowsher a boys-girls sweep of the top sprint event.

But a slow start out of the blocks led to a disappointing fourth place finish 10.93. He ran second a year ago in 10.61.

Westerville Central's Stuart Smith, who finished seventh last year, claimed victory in 10.75.

"I think it was the start," said Clay, attempting to understand what went wrong. "I think I'm done with track the way I feel right now."

Clay, who will play football at Eastern Michigan, had considered running track too.

Maumee's Bo Waggoner, in his fourth state meet, posted second in the 3200 with his second-best time - 9:11.38. St. John's Chris Lemon ran fourth (9:15.82) and his twin brother, Matt, placed eighth

(9:24.88).

"I felt pretty good about the race," Waggoner said. "I did pretty much what I wanted to do."

Chris Lemon also came up with a second in the 1600 in

4:13.87. Teammate Joseph Miller placed fifth (4:17.15).

"Matt, Joe and I - we all performed pretty well," Chris Lemon said.

Rogers' Chanelle Caldwell, in her third state meet, ran her best 800 ever and finished third (2:11.33).

"I feel like I went out in my senior year and made this my best year," she said.

Central Catholic's Samuel Hogue III, the fastest qualifier in the 300 hurdles, was in contention before his trail leg tipped the next-to-last hurdle and sent him falling to the ground.

"I guess it's something I can look back on one day and see it as a character-builder," said Hogue, who finished seventh.

Whitmer's Courtney Siebenaller settled on sharing sixth with Olmsted Falls' Katie Nageotte in the pole vault at 11 feet.

Bowling Green's Christy Titus placied sixth in the 3200 with a time of 11.03.07.

Central's Sharise Calhoun was sixth in the 100 hurdles in 15.34 and Perrysburg's Courtney Weiss placed eighth in the 300 hurdles in 45.92. Calhoun teamed with Kaitlyn Krizman, Kaila Blanchard and Ariel Wilkes to run eighth

(3:56.99) in the 1600 relay.

Central's Dane Sanzenbacher ran seventh (48.96) in the 400 before running with Cedric Bouyer, Michael Krieg and Hogue to place sixth (3:20.33) in the 1600 relay.

St. John's DaJon Booth placed sixth in the 110 hurdles in 15.07 while teammate Jalil Carter finished eighth in the 100 in 11.11.

Contact Donald Emmons at:

demmons@theblade.com

or 419-724-6302.



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