COLUMBUS - Erin Pendleton spent her first two years participating in high school track and field in the enormous shadow of her older sister, Emily, who won an unprecedented four straight state championships in the discus.
Erin's first opportunity to make her mark in track and field came this season. The Woodmore junior responded by winning every competition she participated in right up to the Division III state meet taking place yesterday and today at Ohio State University's Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Pendleton not only extended her winning streak to 23 straight discus events this season without a loss by capturing the Division III state discus title yesterday afternoon, she topped the competition by breaking her sister's old meet record with a personal-record toss of 168 feet, 10 inches on her final throw of the day.
"I'm so excited to get a first place at state after my sister," Erin said.
The favorite to win the meet actually already had clinched the state title and the state meet record on her next-to-last throw which sailed through the hot and windy conditions before landing 163-8, which topped her sister's old meet mark of 163-4.
Her victory, witnessed by a group of family members including Emily, kept the Pendleton name tied to the state discus championship for the fifth year in a row. Emily and Erin finished first and second, respectively, at state last year.
"If Emily's record is going to get broken I'm glad it's broken by someone in the family," said Mike Pendleton, the father of the two discus champions, who has served as their throwing coach throughout their high school careers. "That's kind of unheard of for five in a row [within one family]. That's big."
Emily, who recently won the Big Ten Conference discus championship in her freshman season at the University of Michigan, was one of the first to congratulate Erin when it was announced she had broken her old meet record with her next-to-last throw of the day.
"It's the coolest feeling ever and I'm so happy for her," said Emily.
"I told her before the meet she had put in all the hard work and lifted all the weights, so she just had to get out there and do what she had to do."
Erin Pendleton finished off her day by placing fourth in the shot put with a throw of 39-4.
Meanwhile, Pettisville's Haley Nofziger and Fostoria St. Wendelin's Jaunna Gase placed second and seventh, respectively, in the long jump. Nofziger jumped 17-3 1/2 and Gase recorded a mark of 16-6.
Lakota's Cami Wasserman, who was a state runner-up in the pole vault last season, came away with a fourth place finish yesterday despite posting a school and personal record effort of 11-4.
"I'm happy with how I did," Wasserman said. "There's nothing I can do about the competition. Improving here at state is the best way to do it."
Ottawa Hills sprinter Katherine Jamieson survived the heat and the preliminary competition in the 100, 200 and 400 races to give her a full workload for the finals.
Jamieson and Elmwood's Katie Reiser made it to the finals of the 100 meters. They ran in different prelim heats but crossed the finish line with the same time of 12.91. Jamieson ran fourth in her heat while Reiser's finish was good for third in her heat.
The Ottawa Hills sophomore secured a spot in the finals of the 200 by posting a third place finish with a time of 26.42. Elmwood sophomore Reiser also ran third in her heat, but crossed the finish line with a time of 26.38.
Jamieson also ran fourth in the faster of the two 400 prelim heats. Her time of 58.46 would have given her a victory in the other heat.
Liberty-Benton's 1600 relay team of Daniel Giangiordana, Nate Aydt, Seth Butler and Kerry Cramner streaked to victory in their heat by posting a time of
3:24.66. Cramner also advanced to the boys 100 finals by running to a fourth-place finish for a qualifying time of 11.53.
Ottoville's Molly Maag, Kari Beining, Melissa Turnwald and Shayla Siefker ran sixth in the finals of the girls 3200 relay
(9:48.70) while Woodmore's Drew Holbrook, Chris Jacobson, Tyler Schroeder finished eighth in the boys 3200 relay (8:12.87).
Columbus Grove's Heath Nickles came through with a record-setting performance en route to winning a state championship in the pole vault.
Nickles, a senior, scaled a Division III meet record height of 16-1 1/2 to win the pole vault.
The old record stood at 16-1, set in 1995 by Newcomerstown's Jamie Lewis.
Nickles also raced to victory in his prelim heat of the 300 hurdles with a time of 39.97. He finished second in his preliminary heat of the 110 hurdles (15.35) to qualify for the finals.
Elmwood's Curtis Smithey crossed the finish line of his 400 heat in second place with a time of 49.09 to grab a spot in the finals.
Archbold's Jacob Fidler, Nate Hammersmith, Breon Price and Garrett Waidelich advanced to the 800 relay finals with a time of 1:31.70.
Columbus Grove's Kimberly Selhorst, Paige Heffner, Ella Diller and Jaimie Lewis advanced to the 800 relay finals with a time of 1:46.07. Arlington's Lauren Pepple, Taylor Beck, Hannah Kimmel and Jasmine foster will run in the 800 relay finals after posting a prelim time of 1:46.25.
Heffner, Diller, Lewis and Grace Needler secured a spot in the 1600 relay finals after running second in a prelim heat with a time of 4:03.64.
Also, Liberty Center's Chad McClory finished third in the discus (168-4). Defiance Ayers-
ville's Mykel Wireman and Liberty-Benton's Ryan Cook placed fifth (20-10 1/2) and seventh (20-8 1/2), respectively, in the long jump.
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