COLUMBUS — After setting a school record at the Division III Regional meet last week, the Fredericktown Freddies boys 4x800-meter relay team finished 12th in the state in Friday’s final at the 2010 Division III OHSAA Track and Field Championships on Saturday.
Senior Jamison Shipley capped his high school career with his best 4x800 split ever to help the Freddies post a time of 8:11.75 from the outside lane.
“It’s pretty fun just seeing all the people in the stands,” said Shipley, “It’s amazing just to be here and it’s very crowded, very good competition in the state of Ohio. We were out in Lane 8 and I had to get to the baton and that slowed us down a little.”
Anchorman Isaac Potes made up a little ground, but it wasn’t quite enough.
“We’re a good team,” said Potes. “I wished that we placed better, but we placed where we were set up on paper. I ran hard. These guys are a good group; we’re usually consistent. We’re a good team. It would be nice of all of us were a just couple of seconds faster, but we all wish that.”
Sean Kennedy was happy that his team had made it to state and, like the rest of his teammates, gave an all-out effort.
“Place-wise, didn’t really matter as long as we ran here,” said Kennedy, who was at the Division III State Track and Field Championships for the first time. “That’s what I wanted us to do. It was my goal all season. This is the biggest crowd I’ve seen. It helps that everyone is cheering for everyone else.”
For senior Delaney McGuire, who has spent years running with his teammates — his friends — it was an emotional moment.
“We were down there hugging afterwards,” said McGuire, who is also in today’s 800-meter run. “We thought we needed to do pretty good considering how crowded it was. I got around the corner and there are 10 people in front of me and I’m thinking, ‘What is this?’ because, normally, I’m first or second.”
There was, however, plenty to be happy about, short of standing on the podium.
“Well, I was happy with the way they finished the season,” said Fredericktown coach Bob Geiger. “I was happy with Jamison, being a senior and running the fastest time he has ever run. It was crowded and tight and it was hard to run very fast. It was such a big pack handing off. It was neat; it was a great year.”
In the 110- and 300-meter hurdle preliminaries, Garrett Gatton finished 10th in each event and didn’t get to the finals, but he has made plenty of progress this season.
“In the 110, I had a good start,” said Gatton, who ran a 15.62. “We’ve been working on blocks throughout the past week and it really paid off today, because I got out and got a good start on the guys, which is what I needed to do to even compete with them. I wasn’t far behind the guys that beat me.”
Gatton was beaten off the line in the 300, but hung with the group in a very tough heat.
“I really wanted to get under 40 but, considering that the track seems kind of slow today, 40.77 wasn’t bad,” said Gatton. “If I were in the second heat, that would have put me second. This shows just how tough the competition is because, in my heat, we had two guys go 39 seconds.”
Six seniors finished ahead of Gatton, a junior, in the 110 hurdles qualifier and five seniors beat him in the 300 hurdles qualifier and, yes, he’s counting for next year.
“It was a lot of fun, today,” said Gatton. “Lucky for me those two fast guys were seniors. I’m going for the school record next year.”
Fredericktown junior Tayler Carpenter made a jump of 15-feet-1 1/2 to place 14th in the girls long jump.
“I didn’t ride the bus in because I wanted to get more sleep,” said Carpenter. “I guess I didn’t get off the ground enough. The first jump I fouled. I think I was just nervous, excited and all that. My dad kept telling me that I needed to relax, but I was all hyped up and I didn’t perform my best.”
“She’s competitive and she wants to win everything,” said Geiger of Carpenter. “After she’s been away for a day, she’ll be pretty happy with how her season went.”
For Carpenter, being part of next year’s talent-laden senior class at Fredericktown is a reason for excitement.
“I’m really looking forward to next year,” Carpenter said. “I’m, hopefully, going back and will be at the top of my game so I can get up on that podium.
“It’s really cool. It gives me hope, and a kind of a promise, that we are going to have a successful senior year. It’s really cool to have so many good athletes around you.”
Notes: Potes will run in the Division III 1,600-meter run at approximately 10:20 a.m. today. McGuire will run the 800 at noon. In Division I, Mount Vernon’s Celia Leonard will run in the 1,600 at 5:05 p.m., and teammate Sarah Baker will run in the 3,200-meter run at 6:10 p.m.