Vaulting: It’s a mental thing for Wayne’s Simmons

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Wayne senior Graysen Simmons cleared 12-0 to lead all vaulters in the 67th Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays at Welcome Stadium on Friday, April 21, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Graysen Simmons has all the physical qualities of being a great vaulter. The Wayne High School senior is strong, has sprinter speed and a can-do attitude, all things needed to stick a pole in the ground and launch yourself skyward upside down. She also has something else going for her this spring.

“It’s super mental and me, I’m also a super mental person,” Graysen explained after soaring a meet-best 12 feet in the 67th Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays at Welcome Stadium on Friday. “I’ve learned you just have to adapt to the situation you’re in. That’s my motto for the season, adapt. I’m struggling but I’m getting through the season with it. We’re getting there.”

Dunbar needed to be six points better than Thomas Worthington in the meet’s final event, the 4x400-meter relay, to win the boys championship. The Wolverines placed second in the event (3:29.77) and Worthington was fifth. That was a four-point spread, which enabled Worthington to win the boys team title, 63-62 over Dunbar. Trotwood-Madison (59.5) was third, followed by Wayne (56) and Northmont (50.5).

Troy (80.5) won the girls team title, beating runner-up Worthington (63.5), Lima Senior (62), Centerville (61) and Northmont (59.5).

Simmons is among another outstanding bunch of boys and girls vaulters this spring. Vandalia-Butler freshman Dalton Shepler cleared 14 feet to lead the boys individuals. All the events were running relays and two-man field event totals.

“It means a lot because I’ve been struggling the past few meets getting over 12 and getting new sticks,” said Simmons, who missed three times in what would have been an outdoor personal best of 12-6. “I finally hit my big pole and I blew through my last jump. Now, we’re going on my next stick. I’m finally over 12 (feet) and I’m super excited.”

Simmons said vaulters are a unique group who often share the same advice from coaches and train together in the offseason.

“It’s something in the water,” said Simmons, who hopes to continue vaulting at Eastern Michigan University. “We’re all friends. The vaulters are one big family. That’s what I love about it.”

• The meet also featured a unique Swedish Sprint Medley Relay: The opening leg was a 100, followed in order by a 200, 300 and 400. Northmont (1:58.31) anchor Xavier Marabell overtook Dunbar on his anchor leg to win. Lima Senior (2:20.25) beat runner-up Troy by more than four seconds to take the girls race.

• Other notable winning performances were Centerville high jumper Jermea Lyle (5-2) and Northmont’s Christian Wilson (6-3), Dunbar long jumper Keyshawn Jones (22-0.50) and the Trowood-Madison boys 4x800 relay (1:30.03).

• The Roosevelt Relays will return to Welcome Stadium on May 5-6. The Dayton City League meet also is at Welcome on May 9.

FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton

Combined ShapeCaption
Dunbar’s Marquis Evans (right, front) takes the lead in the boys Swedish medley relay during the 67th Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays at Welcome Stadium on Friday, April 21, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Dunbar’s Marquis Evans (right, front) takes the lead in the boys Swedish medley relay during the 67th Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays at Welcome Stadium on Friday, April 21, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Dunbar’s Marquis Evans (right, front) takes the lead in the boys Swedish medley relay during the 67th Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays at Welcome Stadium on Friday, April 21, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

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