Two Miami Trace track athletes, one a junior (now senior-to-be) and the other a senior (actually, a recent graduate) are working hard this week to prepare for their respective appearances at the State track and field championships at The Ohio State University this Friday and Saturday.
Drake Litteral, a member of the 2017 graduating class at Miami Trace, won the 200-meter dash at the Regionals last week.
He placed second in the 100-meter dash by a scant .02 of a second at Regionals.
Last year, Litteral ran a time of 22.39 in the prelims and a 22.95 in the finals of the 200-meter dash, placing eighth.
Also last season, Litteral, along with Tyrae Pettiford, Elijah Sauceda and Noah Wiseman, placed 11th in the 4 x 200-meter relay at State with a time of 1:31.72.
This year, Litteral (the anchor), along with Wiseman, Sauceda and Brady Wallace, appeared headed for a State qualification, but the team was disqualified in the Regional finals.
Litteral will be in lane three in the second heat of the 100-meter dash.
His qualifying time of 11.26 places him 14th out of 16 runners. The times range from 10.67 to 11.46 with a total of six runners eclipsing the 11-second mark.
In the 200-meter dash, Litteral will run in lane five in the first heat of the prelims.
His qualifying time of 22.56 stands him 13th out of 16 competitors. Times range from 21.50 to 22.95.
Junior Katie Seyfang will be making her second appearance at State in the shot put and her first in the discus throw.
Seyfang placed third at Regionals in the discus throw at 129’ 6”.
She was second at Regionals in the shot put at 43’ 1/2”.
Seyfang stands sixth going into the discus throw at State.
The distances the other competitors have thrown range from 116’ 10” to 151’ 1”.
In the shot put, Seyfang is second out of 16. Throws range from 37’ 1/2” to 47’ 8 3/4”.
“I had a bad start in the 100,” Litteral said of his Regional final race. “I kind of twitched and when I got myself set back…”. That twitch cost Litteral .02 of a second and first place.
Litteral was also asked his thoughts on the Panthers’ 4 x 200-meter relay.
“We just had dumb mistakes on that,” Litteral said. “That’s the only thing I really want to say about that, just dumb mistakes.”
What about his goals for his final high school races?
“The goal is to win State,” Litteral said. “It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be close. The top four are all within .05 of a second.
“I’m just going to take it one race at a time,” Litteral said. “Just run how I can. Coach (Tim) Walters has trained me well, mentally and physically.”
Litteral said he has not chosen a college yet, but wants to continue his education studying electrical engineering.
“I’ll probably run track (in college),” Litteral said. “I’m not 100-percent sure yet.”
Seyfang placed 10th at State last year in the shot put with a throw of 37’ 7 3/4”.
She exudes confidence.
“I’m going in both events thinking I’m going to win,” Seyfang said. “Because, that’s what you have to do. I think most importantly, I know that I’ve trained harder than a lot of people and I know that I’m ready for it. I’ve had some of the best coaching.
“I’m not really worried about it,” Seyfang said. “I just need to relax and have fun.
“I want to win,” Seyfang said. “That’s what I always want to do. I think you have to train like that, or else you’re not going to win.
“I was sick at the Districts and I just wanted to get top four to get out (to Regionals),” Seyfang said. “It affected my performance, greatly. I got second and had one of the worst days of my season. After that, I’ve been focused, like ‘I want to win, let’s go.’ You train like every throw is your last throw and you just go for it.”
“We’re very proud of both Katie and Drake,” Miami Trace head coach Brent Noes said. “We’re excited to see what they can do up in Columbus this weekend. They’ve both been at this for a long time, since this winter, working out, through the indoor season.
“We’re excited that their hard work is going to pay off and that it’s gotten them to the State meet,” Noes said. “They’ve both been there before. At this level of competition, there are always going to be a little bit of nerves. They know what to expect.
“Katie is going back in shot,” Noes said. “It’ll be her first time experiencing the discus at State. She’s excited to be there in both.
“Last year we didn’t run Drake in the 100 at the District meet,” Noes said. “We focused on the 4 x 2 and the 200 last year. This is his first time running the open one (at State). We’re excited for him, as well. We’ll see what he can do in the one and two and Katie in the shot and disc. We wish them both well.”
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1