AKRON — Things weren’t in perfect alignment for high jumpers Erin Kasper of Amherst and Hannah Bartlome of Vermilion, so they relied on their resolve.
And went home with indoor state titles.
Kasper won the Division I competition with a leap of
5 feet, 5 inches, clearing the mark on her third and final attempt. She defeated Sylvania Southview senior Elizabeth Sares and Delaware Olentangy sophomore Emily Ginter, who cleared 5-4.
Bartlome took top honors in Divisions II-III at 5-4. She outjumped Thornville Sheridan freshman Natalie Eberts and Celina junior Michaela Wenning, who cleared 5-3.
The two jumpers led a local contingent of athletes at the ninth annual Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches State Indoor Track and Field Championships held at Akron University’s Stile Field House.
“I cleared all the heights I needed to at the right time,” Kasper said. “Winning means the world to me. I wasn’t a very good high jumper in junior high or freshman year. Today was something I wouldn’t have even dreamed of three years ago. It’s just so amazing.”
Kasper needed three tries at 5-3 and 5-5 to turn the trick. Last year, she was ninth at the indoor state meet at 5-0 and improved to sixth outdoors (5-4). Kasper set school records for outdoors last spring (5-5) and for indoors this winter (5-6).
“I was able to put things together just in time,” Kasper said. “It’s just starting to sink in a little bit, but not 100 percent totally yet.”
Kasper is Amherst’s second indoor state high jump champion. In 2011, Tyler Parrish prevailed in Division I boys at 6-9.
“With Erin, it’s about consistency,” said Amherst assistant Mike Lugar, who coaches Kasper and Bartlome. “Her issue today wasn’t so much about her steps as much as it was about her approach. She wasn’t hitting angles right. Her last step was a tad long. Once we got that under control she was fine.
“She had victory in mind today. Everyone else was just hoping to get where she’s at. The reason Erin won is because she’s been there a million times. The rest of the field couldn’t touch her.”
Kasper is the Amherst girls’ first state track champ since Theresa Feldkamp won back-to-back Division I outdoor 800-meter titles in 2000-01.
Bartlome made school history, too. The junior is the first Vermilion girls state champ since Maureen Masin won the 1975 Class AA high jump outdoor title at 5-4. Last year, Bartlome finished second indoors (5-6) to Rootstown senior Ashleigh Pickens (5-8).
“I feel somewhat accomplished because I know I won,” Bartlome said. “It’s a great feeling, but I know I could have jumped much better. I just have to keep working hard.”
Bartlome’s No. 1 challenge was coping with added stress.
She entered the competition at 5-2 instead of 5-0 because the event judge penalized her for tardiness. The track official told Bartlome’s coaches she exceeded her three-minute allotment to be excused to run the 800-meter relay.
More tension came in the 800-meter relay when the No. 4-seeded Sailors dropped the baton in the third leg, finishing 14th (1:53.21). Vermilion was second in the event last year and returned three athletes.
Bartlome brushed off the extra stress to clear 5-2 on her second try, then make 5-3 and 5-4 on the first attempts. She missed in three tries at 5-5.
“Thinking about it now it’s a good thing I haven’t peaked,” said Bartlome, who was second at the 2012 outdoor meet. “I’d rather have my big jump toward districts, regionals and state. It’s key to keep expectations low right now.”
Bartlome was also 10th in the Division II-III long jump (15-8¼).
Kasper finished 11th in the Division I long jump (15-4½) and 15th in triple jump (30-11) — just the second time competing in the event. Sunbury Big Walnut junior Olivia Small won both, 18-8¼ and 37-3.
Avon Lake senior Christine Bohan finished second in the Division I shot put (40-1½). She was sixth after prelims (36-9¼), but moved to third with her fourth try (38-7¾). She improved to second with her final toss, passing Solon junior Alexis Gray (39-7½).
“I was a bit sore this week with the start of outdoor training,” Bohan said. “I just wanted to get that one out past 40. That was my goal and I hit it. I don’t like to go for it all on my first throw and be tired by the end. I try focusing on my form early on and go strong on my last one.”
Olentangy Orange senior Katelyn Daniels won the Division I shot with a throw of 44-11½.
Bohan also scored in high jump, finishing in a four-way tie for sixth (5-0). She tied for seventh in pole vault (10-6).
Amherst senior Cassie Vince ran a personal record by 22 seconds as she rallied to finish fourth in the Division I 3,200 meters (11:25.1). Vince was in last place after the opening lap of the 10.75-lap event.
“My coach (Terry Kemp) told me go out relaxed and ‘get lost’ in the first lap,” Vince said. “My strategy was to try and pick a few people off each lap. My goal today was 11:30, so hitting 11:25 is great.”
Vince held off Nos. 5-8, who finished within five seconds of her. St. Ursula Academy sophomore Annie Heffernan won in 10:45.0. Vince also teamed with junior Riley Schenk, sophomore Lauren Sturgeon and sophomore Alexis Szivan in the 3,200 relay that finished 13th (9:54.54).
The Keystone girls had three all-state performers. Junior Jenna Quillen was fifth in the 60-meter hurdles and eighth in high jump (5-0). Senior Brittany Gates was seventh in long jump (15-8¼) and freshman Shannon Wargo was seventh in the 1,600 (5:29.64).
Lake Ridge junior Kaci Gregory was All-Ohio in the Division II-III 400 meters, finishing fifth (1:00.04). Ursuline junior Lavonte Powell won it (59.31).
Amherst senior Sara Moore also chalked up points for the Comets with a sixth place in the 60-meter hurdles (9.35).
Avon Lake junior Max Seipel finished eighth in shot put (53-1¾.
The Amherst girls 800-meter relay of Bakita Hill, Becki Stuckart, Sher Champe and Lindsay Sands was 12th (1:47.21). Sturgeon, Stuckart, Schenk and Szivan were 16th in the 1,600 relay (4:14.960).
The Amherst boys 1,600 relay of Tom Gula, Chase Klingshirn, Nick Glowacki and Mike Kardos was 12th in 3:30.05.
Elyria Catholic senior Brandy Daniels was 15th in the Division II-III 60-meter dash (8.20). Avon senior Madison Cooper was 16th in the high jump (4-10).
The Amherst girls were ninth in the team standings with 18 points. Avon Lake was 20th with 11. The Keystone girls were 22nd in Division II-III with 10.5 points, Vermilion was 24th with 10.
Contact Paul Heyse at 329-7135 or email@example.com.