While every event at the state meet is important and fun to watch and each has its little elements and story lines that interest different individuals, here are five events that should be labeled "Do Not Miss." If you are a true fan of Track and Field you won't want to miss these events.
Below are the events for Girls Division 3, in no particular order, that you will want to make sure that you get to see.
1. High Jump
Friday at 4:00pm
Rootstown's Ashleigh Pickens finished in the silver last year by clearing 5-5. This year, Pickens has cleared 5-8.25, which would tie the Division 3 State Meet Record. The Division 3 Record of 5-9 could be in jeopardy if Pickens has a good day. Two others in the field that could challenge Pickens are Baily King of Parkway, who has cleared 5-6 this year, and Bluffton's Lydia Gaugenti, who cleared 5-8 a couple of weeks ago.
2. 1600m Run
Saturday at 10:05am
Tammy Berger of Versailles is the favorite in this race. In her high school career she was finished third as a freshman and sophomore and second as a junior in this event. Berger will look to take home the gold this year and will have a great shot at it as she has the best time in Girls Division 3 by over 3 seconds. Meghan Vogel (West Liberty-Salem), Fallon Doyle (St. John Central), Meg Westerheide (Coldwater) and Mikaela Bush (Mount Gilead) have all gone sub 5:09 this year and will challenge Berger for the top spot on the podium.
3. Shot Put
Friday at 4:00pm
This should be a battle for the top three spots on the podium. Olivia Cummings of Fairlawn has Division 3's top mark in the shot put with a throw of 43-7.5 at the Shelby County League Meet. Fairview-Sherwood's Abby Grinnell has thrown over 40' the past two weekends and set a PR of 42-1.25. Then there is Becca Leppelmeier who has the top Regional mark with a throw of 42-4 to make her first state meet appearance. Leppelmeier will try to keep the gold in the family as her older sister, Jackie Leppelmeier, won the shot put in both 2010 and 2011. Look for a lot of movement in the final rounds with places and distance as these girls all go for the gold with every throw.
4. Pole Vault
Friday at 1:00pm
Six girls that made the podium return for the 2012 version of the Division 3 Girls Pole Vault. Two athletes will be looking to get their second gold medal in this event. Ellie Braidic (PR of 12-11) of Pandora-Gilboa finished second in 2009, won the event in 2010, and finished tied for fifth last season. North Baltimore's Amanda Hotaling (PR of 12-5) won the event as a freshman in 2009, and then has finished second the last two years. Other 2011 state placers that are competing this year are Minster's Kayla Wuebker, Ansonia's Samantha Shook, Shelby Rizor of Mount Gilead and Arlington's Willow Thompson.
Friday at 1:00pm
Six girls have personal bests of 130' or more in the competition, and given the way the discus goes, just about any of those six could take home the gold medal. Jai'lyn Mosely of McDonald has the state's second best throw with a toss of 149-5 and enters as the favorite. Others that will look to capture gold are Lake Center Christian's Jenae Linville, Becca Leppelmeier of McComb, Paint Valley's Taylor Baker, Tory Ross of McDonald and Megan Pendleton of Woodmore.
Returning State Champions
Event - Name (School) - Last Year's winning time/mark
4x800m Relay - Archbold - 9:31.02
200m Dash - Crystal Barber (Rittman) - 25.44
4x400m Relay - Minster - 4:00.82
Long Jump - Erika Armstead (Cincinnati Country Day) - 18-6