DUBLIN — Several Mount Vernon High School athletes qualified for the regional meet in nine events at the Division I Central District track and field finals on Saturday at Dublin Coffman High School.
Brittany Shelhorn qualified for the regional meet earlier in the week in the high jump with a fourth-place jump of 5 feet. She returned on Saturday to place third in the 300-meter hurdles in 47.70 seconds, her best time of the year in the event by almost two seconds.
“We’ve been working on getting out of the blocks faster,” Shelhorn said. “I wanted to beat everybody around the curve, and then kick at the end.”
Shelhorn returned to the track to help the 4x400-meter relay team qualify for the regional meet with a third-place finish in 4:05.31.
“We have a good chance of placing at regionals,” said Katie Curry, who anchored the 4x400 team. “We’ll just have to take it one race at a time because we are all in multiple events.”
Curry also advanced in the 200-meter dash after placing third in 26.39 seconds.
“You hope every year that you peak at the right time, and this year I did,” she said.
This will be the first time Curry has competed at the regional level in an individual event.
Tate Devlin, who was also on the 4x400 team, advanced to the regional level with her third-place finish in the 400-meter dash in a time of 1:01.23 seconds.
Mount Vernon will send several distance runners to the regional meet, including Celia Leonard. Leonard won the 1,600-meter run in a time of 5:16.14, and finished second in the 800-meter run in 2:22.33. She also helped the girls 4x800-meter relay team advance to the regional meet with a winning time of 9:46.43, and was a member of the 4x400 team.
“We circled the district meet as the start of the post- season,” said Mount Vernon girls coach Pat Gray. “They knew they had to step up their performances to make it to regionals, and then to state.”
Sarah Baker won the 3,200-meter run in 11:43.53.
“My goal wasn’t to go out hard,” Baker said. “My goal was to get in first place, and stay in first place.”
Baker finished just ahead of teammate Sarah Fowler, who finished in 11:56.62.
Gray was happy with the 91 points Mount Vernon scored, which placed the team fourth in the district meet.
The boys team advanced one athlete to the regional level. Lucas Armstrong placed fourth in the 400-meter dash in a time of 50.87 seconds. He was almost a whole second faster than the fifth-place runner, but he was also a second slower than his normal time. This week, he would like to run his race in 49 seconds even.
“Nobody will be able to coast at regionals,” Armstrong said. “Either you have it, or you don’t.”
According to head boys coach Jim Lindsey, Armstrong raced with a large, painful blister on his right foot.
“But I think he’ll do pretty good at regionals,” Lindsey said. “We’re going to give him plenty of rest.”
Lindsey said part of the reason no other athletes advanced to the regional meet was because they were still tired from racing so many preliminary races.
“If we could have run the finals on Sunday, they would have done a lot better,” said Lindsey. “They’re just worn out.”
Mount Vernon will travel to Pickerington North High School on Wednesday for preliminary races, and again on Friday for event finals.