Also the Division I state cross country champion, Horter had hopes of sweeping all three of the distance titles this year as he also was the favorite to win the 3,200-meter run. However, while warming up for that race less than an hour later, he decided he didn’t have enough left in his tank under hot conditions, so he dropped out to save himself for the Brooks PR Invitational elite race he was invited to attend June 17 in Seattle.
This was his first season running both the 1,600 and 3,200 after focusing only on the latter the past two years. No one has won the 1,600 and 3,200 since the 1990s, Horter said, but next year he plans to “get revenge on the weather and the track” and try again.
“I wouldn’t say it took everything out of me,” Horter said. “Obviously in that last 100 meters, it was pretty intense. I felt good the whole race, but with weather, I was a little dehydrated and pale. We doubled all the way up and were thinking I’d double all the way through. It was my first year running the 16, so I feel good about how it went, but I’ve got work to do to prepare for Seattle.”
Middletown sophomore Conant Smith hopes to be challenging Horter next season, but for now, he is satisfied with winning his own medal.
Lakota West’s Andrew Whitaker finished sixth in the 300 hurdles (38.33) during the Division I state track and field meet at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Saturday. MARC PENDLETON/STAFF
Smith placed fifth in the 3,200 with a time of 9:14.04 in his first state meet.
“I just wanted to come into this race and make the podium,” Smith said. “All these fans, this is new to me, so I had no idea what I was doing when I came here.”
Several other area athletes also earned medals Saturday, but Lakota East freshman Serena Clark took home the most hardware.
Clark placed third in the 100-meter dash (12.07 seconds) and eighth in the 200 (25.01) while also earning a runner-up finish in the 400-meter relay along with Kaylyn Heath, Dani Stoughton and Jasmine Floyd.
“I’m excited,” said Clark, who developed cramps in her right hamstring before the 200. “In the 100, I wasn’t expecting it. We had two false starts and then I was nervous, but everyone was cheering my name so I had to keep focused. It was still the same race I’ve been running, so I just had to push it. In the 4x1, we were aiming for that state championship, but it is what it is. We still fought hard, so next year we’ll get them. In the 200, I wanted a better outcome but couldn’t get it. … I’m just so happy. I’m the only freshman that ran and I made it on the podium too.”
Jasmine Floyd (left) anchored Lakota East’s 400 relay squad to a second-place finish Saturday during the Division I state track and field meet at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. MARC PENDLETON/STAFF
Fairfield’s Tyra Kennedy was the top-placing area athlete in the girls competition, taking second in the long jump in her first state trip in that event. Kennedy went from sixth place to first with her last jump of 18 feet, 4.75 inches — an eight-inch improvement — before Lancaster’s Hope Purcell pulled back ahead with a 19-1.25 on her final attempt.
The Indians also got points from the sixth-place boys 400-meter relay team of Adrien Givens, Joseph Hayes, Joshua Hayes and JuTahn McClain.
“Our expectation was not to come in last and get on the podium and we did, so we’re cool,” Joseph Hayes said. “It’s been fun. We went through I wouldn’t say a lot of chaos but we went through a lot of injuries this season. (Joshua) went out for a while but when we got him back we did pretty good, and now we’re here.”
Other area placers included Lakota West’s Andrew Whitaker (sixth in the 300 hurdles) and Lebanon’s Jordan Campbell (sixth in the 100) and Kelby Caplinger (eighth in the 800).
Lakota East’s Dustin Horter (right) won the 1,600 meters (4:08.38) during Saturday’s Division I state track and field meet at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. MARC PENDLETON/STAFF