COLUMBUS - The Pendleton family runs an antique furniture store in Elmore which has meant plenty of heavy lifting for sisters Emily and Erin over the years. Yesterday the siblings turned that hard work into a historic treasure of their own at the Division III state track meet.
Emily, a Woodmore senior, won her fourth consecutive title in the discus and her sophomore sister, Erin, finished second at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. It was the first time in the 33-year history of the girls Ohio state track championships that siblings finished one-two in the same event in any division.
Pendleton's toss of 163 feet, four inches made her the first female to ever win a field event four straight years in any division. She also established a new state meet record.
"This was definitely the sweetest," Emily said. "This has been on our minds the whole year. It's awesome."
The Pendletons led Woodmore to a fourth-place finish. Mohawk finished tied for seventh, while Carey and Columbus Grove tied for 12th.
On the boys side, Columbus Grove got two individual titles from junior Heath Nickles to just miss out on winning the team crown. The Bulldogs also got a repeat win from senior Cory Meuleman to finish two points behind Dayton Christian. The Liberty-Benton boys were 10th and Hardin Northern was 12th.
Emily Pendleton, who will compete for the University of Michigan, said she tried to treat it like any other meet.
"I'm very happy with what I did here," she said.
Erin Pendleton, who set a new personal best at 154-10, took fourth place last year and threw the discus more than 20 feet farther yesterday.
"I'm so excited that I got to stand next to my sister on the podium," she said.
The pair grew up working in the family's antique shop and learned the intricacies of the field events from their father, coach and boss, Mike.
"We move furniture all the time," Erin said. "That helps out. I just wanted to improve. I'm so excited."
Pendleton was beaten only four times in her four-year career in the discus and went undefeated this year. She also placed second in the shot put.
"I'm very pleased," said Woodmore assistant coach and father Mike Pendleton. "Every piece of furniture they picked up was one less for me. We started thinking this might be possible as the numbers went up. Erin's built like Emily was two years ago. For her to put up a PR is huge. It's a scenario that I couldn't have predicted. I'm tickled."
Nickles led the way for Columbus Grove by winning a hurdle event and the pole vault. Nickles sprinted to victory in the 300 hurdles with a time of 39.02 seconds and won the pole vault at 15-feet, four inches.
"I had to run like a scared rabbit," Nickles said. "I knew I had it all on my shoulders for this race for the overall team score. I put an 'S' on my chest. I gave it all I had."
After winning the 300 hurdles, an animated Nickles pointed to the crowd and pumped his fists.
"I didn't know I had won until I saw it on the scoreboard," he said. "I pointed to my family because I told them I was going to win and I showed them."
The Bulldogs also got a win from Meuleman, who repeated as champ in the discus by crushing the competition by 14 feet with a toss of 180-4.
"It feels good. I felt a lot of pressure," said Meuleman, who also finished second in the shot put.
Danielle Jacoby, a senior from Carey, won the 400 meter dash in 56.84 seconds.
"I always dreamed of standing on that podium," Jacoby said. "I started out hard and tried to keep the same pace and finish hard. This has always been at the top of my list."
Just a half hour later, Jacoby placed fourth in the 200 (22.94).
Mohawk senior Kari Weimerskirch took home the title in the high jump and was second in the long jump.
The Patrick Henry boys finished second in the 800 relay. Greg Flowers, Zack Bonner, Kyle Brubaker and Nick Powers ran a 1:30.88, just over a second behind the winners.
"We took care of business," said senior Brubaker, who ran the third leg. "We finished eighth here last year and we wanted to run a good time."
Liberty-Benton took first in the 400 relay as Kerry Cramner, Ryan Cook, Michael Busch, and Chris Magee clocked in at 44.06.
Ottawa Hills senior Hollis Barber, one top field hockey players in the state, took second in the 3200 in 11:07.98.
"I came down here to run for fun," she said. "This is the first year I concentrated on running the 3200. I was told it would help my asthma. This is the best way for it to end."
Elmwood junior Curtis Smithey took fifth place in the 400 in 49.77 seconds.
"My goal was to make it to state and then I wanted the top four," Smithey said. "Fifth is all right. There is always next year to go for first. I'm happy to place at state."
Lakota junior Cami Wasserman placed third in the pole vault at 11 feet.
Archbold freshman Autumn Lantz finished fifth in the 100. Another freshman, Liberty-
Benton's Seth Butler, took fifth in the 800. And freshman Katherine Jamieson of Ottawa Hills placed fifth in the 200.
Contact Mark Monrtoe at
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