Jana Griffith completed her high school track and field career by competing in the Division I District tournament on the night of her graduation.
Griffith was joined by two other classmates — Mary Pfeifer and Kaelin Pfeifer — for the occasion, when the trio received their diplomas, wearing their caps and gowns and cords over their track uniforms in between events at the meet at Bellbrook High School.
A little while before that, Griffith signed a letter of intent to attend Ohio Dominican University, where she will be a member of the track team and continue her education, studying biology with the goal of becoming a nurse.
Griffith will be running the 400-meter hurdles at the next level.
“We’re going to see if (Coach John Teeters and Coach Connor Callahan) want me to run the 100 hurdles,” Griffith said. “I’ll probably be doing mostly the 400.
“I wasn’t even going to run track when I was looking at colleges,” Griffith said. “I was looking at Wright State, the University of Dayton, Cincinnati, Ohio University.
“I visited (Ohio Dominican) and I really liked it,” Griffith said. “I didn’t have a scheduled meeting with the coach and he came and met with me any way. On the way to meet me (the coach) called Kaelin Pfeifer (a previous commit to Ohio Dominican) and said, ‘“Jana Griffith, what do you know about her,’” Griffith said. “She was like, ‘hard worker, good girl, you’ll like her.’ That was their entire phone call.
“I just felt very welcomed,” Griffith said. “I liked it there.”
What about her time at Miami Trace?
“Coming here has probably opened a lot of doors for me, with new friends and opportunities, clubs and sports,” Griffith said. “Community outreach, as well.”
As for a favorite subject in high school, Griffith said, “Definitely not math. I’m not a math person. I do like English. I’m very good at English.
“Miss (Shari) West was my favorite teacher and she was an English teacher,” Griffith said.
A key to success in college, according to Griffith, will be time management.
“That’s going to be the most challenging thing, time management,” Griffith said.
“The first person I need to thank is the Lord,” Griffith said. “For His providing strength.
“Then my mom and dad,” Griffith said. “They’ve spent countless hours driving me to and from practices and meets. My family, my sisters and my brothers for supporting me. My coaches; coach (Brent) Noes and coach (Jeff) Creamer, coach (Jeff) Bennett, coach (Brianna) Mitchell, coach (Trent) Olds.
“I want to thank my teammates for always supporting me at the meets, cheering me on,” Griffith said. “Even at practices, it becomes like a family out there.”
“Jana is an outstanding young lady,” Miami Trace head coach Brent Noes said. “You won’t find a harder worker. She’s typically one of the first ones to practice; she’s always one of the last ones to leave.
“She puts everything she has into practice, which is why she’s been so successful on the track this season,” Noes said. “She’s been working for months for this senior track season. Everything that she’s put into it has paid off. She’s running the best times of her life. She’s running PR’s in both of the hurdles. At the league meet she had two PR’s and one league championship and one runner-up.
“She’s on the league champion 4 x 1 relay team,” Noes said.
“I feel that what she’s accomplished here at Miami Trace over the last four years has prepared her for what she’s getting ready to go do at Ohio Dominican,” Noes said. “We wish her the best.”