COLUMBUS — On a warm, sunny Friday afternoon, recent Washington High School graduate, Chloe Lovett, competed for the first time in her career at the State track meet at the Jesse Owens Memorial Track on the campus of The Ohio State University.
Lovett qualified for the State with a fourth-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles at the Chillicothe Regional with a time of 46.85.
Lovett placed 12th out of 17 competitors Friday with a time of 48.05.
The fastest time in the prelims was turned in by DaMya Barker of Akron Buchtel: 44.63.
With the ninth-fastest time and taking the last spot for Saturday’s finals was Claire Shriner of Sheridan (47.10).
“I was a little nervous,” Lovett said. “But I was ready to compete. I think I ran the best that I could.
“This is crazy even coming out here,” Lovett said. “Especially for my season, because I had a rough season, I had a rough start. I was injured.
“I’m just glad I made it this far,” Lovett said. “It’s really big, really big to make it this far.
“I would like to thank my coaches, especially Chip (Wilt),” Lovett said. “He helps me a lot with my hurdles and I appreciate it all so much.
“Coach (Louis) Reid has helped me a lot, and Coach Q (Raquel Warner),” Lovett said. “And all my friends who are here to support me today and my family. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
“I’m so proud of Chloe Lovett,” Washington head girls track coach Louis Reid said. “She’s an extremely hard worker, she’s had a great career for us. She only got to hurdle for the last four weeks of the season. The fact that she made it to the State meet shows how hard she works and the determination that she has.
“That is really impressive for her to get here,” Reid said. “She was in that race. I think she stumbled a little bit on the curve. It looked like she had a bad hurdle there and didn’t really get a chance to recover.
“She’s going to run in college at Rio Grande,” Reid said. “I think she’s going to go on to bigger and better things. I’m really happy with the leadership she brought our team. She had a lot of her teammates up here. She (was a member of the 4 x 4 (relay) out and those girls are all up here to support her.
“She laid a good foundation, considering that track was a sport that was cancelled (in 2020),” Reid said. “A lot of people forget about that. These kids had to learn how to compete again. This is the first time (since 2019) for these kids to be back at Jesse Owens (Memorial Track).
“I think as she walked over (for the start of the 300), a little bit of nerves kicked in, too,” Reid said. “Overall, I’m really happy for her and proud of her. She did a great job all season. It’s sad that she didn’t make it on the podium, but I think she’s going to do even better in college.”
Also from the Frontier Athletic Conference, McClain’s girls 4 x 100-meter relay team, comprised of Luca Matesic, Iva Easter, Katie Cook and Ryan Butterbaugh, placed 11th out of 17 teams with a time of 50.59, just .02 of a second from the school record. McClain was .16 of a second from qualifying to the State finals.
Anthony Richards of Hillsboro competed in the long jump and placed 15th out of 18 competitors with a best jump of 20’ 7 3/4”.
Ryne Shackelford of Keystone LaGrange won the Division II State title with a leap of 24’ 1 1/2”, just two inches from the Division II State record of 24’ 3 1/2” set by Joe Crallie of Magnolia Sandy Valley on June 4, 1994.
Chillicothe’s Kiera Archer, just a freshman, competed in the Division I State tournament in the 400-meter dash, placing 13th out of 16 in a time of 58.91.
Olivia Kennedy of Jackson competed in the Division II State meet in the 400-meter dash, placing fifth out of 17 runners in a time of 57.67 to qualify to the finals on Saturday.