Western Reserve’s Grace jumps into first
NEW MIDDLETOWN – Columbiana senior Addie Dunlap is stuck in third.
That’s not a bad place to be when your trailing McDonald senior standouts Jail’Lyn Mosley and Tory Ross.
“I’ve been with these guys four years, so I know what to expect,” Dunlap said. “I don’t put myself down.”
Dunlap finished third again at the Springfield Division III district meet Friday.
“I don’t think third,” she said. “I just do my best.”
Mosley was first (144-feet-7), Ross was second (a personal-best 142-4) and Dunlap was third (a season-best 125-8).
It is the third straight year the girls discus has finished in that order at the Springfield district.
“I don’t mind,” Dunlap said. “Where I come in is where I come in. They don’t affect me.”
Springfield sophomore Quinn Crowe finished fourth (a personal-best 117-6).
The top four advance to the Navarre regional next Friday. The last time Dunlap finished ahead of Mosley and Ross was at regionals last year.
Dunlap opened with a 119-7 Friday before throwing one into the crowd on the right side.
“It was a wake-up call,” Dunlap said. “I watched as they moved their lawn chairs back. I thought that was a good thing.”
She overcorrected on her next throw, which went out of bounds to the left.
“I’ve been doing this for six years, I shouldn’t have to think about it,” she said.
Dunlap got off her third-place throw in the finals.
“I told myself I needed more power in my legs,” she said. “I wasn’t doing it before.”
She will have another opportunity to follow Mosley and Ross to state.
“I definitely have to practice this week,” Dunlap said. “There will be a lot of competition next week. I’m going to have to improve.”
Her high school career is winding down as she will graduate on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s going to hit hard,” Dunlap said. “But until then, it’s track. I’ll miss it, but I have a lot more opportunities to look forward to.”
A big leap
Leetonia sophomore Ariel Smith advanced in the long jump in dramatic fashion.
She took third place with a leap of 15-feet-0 on her final attempt.
“It was nerve-racking,” Smith said. “Usually I’m on, but sometimes I’m off.”
Western Reserve junior Hannah Grace had the winning jump on her first attempt with a personal-best 16-feet-0 1/4.
It was a long time after that for Smith to decide her fate.
She fouled on her first two attempts before leaping 14-9 on her third and final attempt in the preliminaries to put her in third place.
Smith fouled on her first two attempts in the finals to fall back into fifth place. Then came her 15-footer as she knocked out Crestview’s Kassie Seabolt, who finished fifth at 14-10.
“After I jumped, I kind of had a feeling, but I wasn’t sure,” she said. “My coach said, ‘Why are you giving me a heart attack!”
Smith will be looking for similar results in different fashion next week.
“I’m hoping to place in the top four,” she said. “And don’t foul on any jump.”