South Central junior Izzy Hauler knew she had it in her. And following Friday’s performance at the state track and field championships, now all of Division III knows it as well.
Hauler, seeded No. 11 in the 18-person field in the girls high jump, entered the event with a regional jump of 16-feet-5.5 inches. Her career best had come two weeks ago at the Bucyrus district, where she landed in the sand at 16-feet-7.25.
But on the biggest stage in Ohio, Hauler’s second of six jump attempts was a new personal-best of 16-feet-8 — which put her in fifth place and on the podium as an All-Ohioan.
“I would say I was proud of myself, but wasn’t surprised,” Hauler said. “I knew it was there all along. I had a belief that if I jumped my best, it would come, and it did.”
“Coming 11th, I knew I could get to the finals,” she added. “Once I got there, I told myself to have fun, and I was just happy to be there and did my best.”
Hauler only landed three of her six jumps. She opened at 15-feet-5.5, then followed with the 16-8. She faulted three other times while also connecting at 16-feet-5.75, which also would have been good enough for seventh.
“I had been sitting there for a while, and I knew some of my fouls were pretty far, too,” she said. “At the beginning of season I struggled a bit, it was always so cold and my muscles weren’t warmed up.
“But today, on the best possible day, it happened to be a great day to have those kind of jumps,” she added. “Just really happy and excited with how it turned out.”
Hauler also knew the magnitude of a South Central athlete placing top five in the state.
“It was definitely a great experience and I had a lot of people there to support me,” she said. “From my coaches and friends, to various people in the community gave a lot of support. I was super proud to represent them.”
With a fifth-place finish as a junior, Hauler now sets her sights on next season. There were two seniors among the top five and four in the top eight on Friday.
“We plan to do a lot and also keep jumping a bit in the summer,” she said. “We went to Tiffin early on this season just to get used to it and get back into the jumps.
“It takes a while to get that rhythm back,” Hauler added. “This was hard (getting to this point), but the goal is to go again and place — and try to do better.”
Edison boys relay third
Hauler wasn’t the only personal-best area performance on Friday at the best possible time.
The Edison 4x800-meter relay of Tyler Coon, Jon Hrivnak, Daniel Lambert and Cole Weilnau placed third overall in 7:54.90 for Div. II All-Ohio honors.
That time drop was down eight seconds from the previous best of 8:02.72, set two weeks ago at the Oak Harbor district.
"We had the state champs (Shelby) in our district, so we’ve been racing them since the beginning of the postseason,” Edison junior Daniel Lambert said. “We knew we could run fast, we knew at the state meet we were going to pop off. We were going to have that big race, because it counted. That’s when it counted. We were going to rise to the challenge and that’s what we did.
Weilnau admitted to having angst as the team’s anchor, but rose up on Friday.
“I’ve been really stressed over it, but I went out really hard and I think I gave it my all,” Weilnau said. “Like my coach has been telling me, ‘Don’t leave anything on the track, you don’t get it back."
Woodruff moves on
Western Reserve’s McKenna Woodruff placed eighth during the preliminaries of the 400-meter dash in Div. III, advancing her to the finals today.
Woodruff was clocked in 59.4 seconds, and will compete at 10:35 a.m. today for a podium spot.
The Western 4x400 relay did not advance to the finals. The quartet of Tabi Pausch, Aliyah Perez, Morgan Spettle and Woodruff finished 18th in 4:25.46.
— Bellevue’s Austin Thompson also had a memorable trip to state. The senior cleared the pole vault bar at 14-feet-6, which was good for an All-Ohio finish of fifth place in Div. II. Sophomore teammate Sydney Waskielis finished 13th in the 300 hurdles preliminary race in 47.03 seconds.
— The New London boys 4x800 relay team of Carson Coey, Curtis Joppeck, Mitchell Joppeck and Austin Reed was 10th Div. III in 8:14.65. The Cat’s Jacob Allen cleared 13-feet-6 in the pole vault to finish 10th.
Meanwhile, the Wildcat girls 4x800 of Abigail Good, Dana Gustely, Savannah Shaver and Kaylin Williams placed 13th in 10:00.39. Shaver will compete in the 800 run at 10:55 a.m. today.
— Monroeville senior Chayce Schaub placed 13th in the Div. III long jump (20-feet-11.50) and 17th in the high jump, clearing the bar at an even six feet.