Katie Seyfang, a member of the Miami Trace High School graduating Class of 2018, will be returning to the State track meet for the third year in a row when she competes in the discus throw Friday morning at The Ohio State University.
Seyfang will also contest for a medal in the shot put at State on Saturday morning.
Seyfang is now a five-time State-qualifier.
She placed sixth in both throwing events at State last year and is looking to move up on the podium this weekend.
Seyfang won the Frontier Athletic Conference championship in both events and was second in both events at the District meet (both held at Washington High School).
She went over to the Regional in New Concord and won the shot put title with a throw of 41’ 10 1/2”. That effort places Seyfang as the No. 1 seed out of 16 competitors from all across the state.
Autumn Mohan of Unioto, a close rival of Seyfang’s, has the second-best throw going into the State competition at 41’ 6 1/4”.
Seyfang has the eighth-best distance of the 16 State competitors in the discus throw at 130’ 2”.
The distances the 16 discus throwers achieved at their respective Regional meets range from 115’ 5” to 148’ 9” (a new Regional record set by Mohan at New Concord last week).
With the installation of a new football field at Miami Trace, Seyfang (and fellow State-qualifier from Miami Trace, Macy Creamer (300-meter hurdles)), have been practicing this week at the Washington High School track facility.
The Record-Herald caught up with Seyfang just before she began her workout Wednesday morning.
Since the State shot put and discus throws for Division II are both at 9:30 a.m., Seyfang has been practicing within that time frame this week.
“Autumn Mohan and I are neck and neck with everything,” Seyfang said. “At Districts, she hit a 41’ 6” and I had a 41’ 3”. Then, for Regionals, I had a 41’ 10” and she had a 41’ 6”. We’re just, like, swapping inches. It’s pretty fun. It’s a nice competition.
“For discus, it’s kind of a reality,” Seyfang said. “For shot, I want to have the mentally of, ‘I have to work my way up.’ That way, I don’t take it for granted or slack off a little bit. Just give it everything I have.
“In the disc, I am (in the middle) and I’ll need to work my way up,” Seyfang said. “It’ll be fun. Coming in with a 130, I think that’s eight feet off my best. One good throw and I’m good.
“My all-time best in shot is 43 feet,” Seyfang said. “I haven’t hit that since Regionals last year. My best in disc is 138 (feet). I hit that at the beginning of this season.
“I’m just going to have the mentality that I’m at the bottom and I’m going to work my way up,” Seyfang said. “I’m also going to think about my first throw, just making it to finals. And after that, just go out and win it. In the shot and the disc.”
“There are so many,” Seyfang said. “Obviously, first I would really like to thank God. It’s just a blessing to be here and have all these people and mentors surrounding me, coaching me, talking to me.
“I’d like to thank my parents (Mike and Ricky) next,” Seyfang said. “It’s crazy, the amount of miles we’ve put on our car, traveling to camps and meets. They’ve just been so loving and so open to doing and trying everything just so I could accomplish a goal of mine.
“I’d like to thank my coaches,” Seyfang said. “I have a lot of them. My freshman year, I had the goal of winning State. Now I’m here, sitting in first. Obviously, anything could happen. These coaches have really put in a lot of time and effort to get me where I am; specifically, Coach (Bill) Beatty. He’s been great, sharing everything he knows.
“Coach (Jeff) Bennett has been outstanding,” Seyfang said. “I think it was in eighth grade he started working with us. Ever since, he’s put all the time he could into it. It’s been amazing.
“Coach (Brent) Noes, he keeps me in line,” Seyfang said. “He gets me ice cream when I do good, which is nice.
“Coach (Chip) Wilt, who’s always kind of been the one who’s been the little bug in my ear, reminding me to stretch; working with my recovery, keeping everything kind of in line.
“Coach (Jeff) Creamer, who really helped with my cardio and endurance this winter,” Seyfang said. “I started training more with the runners, just to try and build my cardio and get my endurance up more.
“My dad is a volunteer coach every once in a while,” Seyfang said. “He’s more on the strength aspect, with my lifting and stuff. Whatever I wanted or needed, he’s had to sacrifice sometimes, but he always got it for me.
“It’s crazy, the amount of support I have with all of these coaches,” Seyfang said. “I would like to thank my church family and my friends; everyone who’s kind of been, sometimes, in the background, but, they’re the people I go to when I’m not doing well, mentally.
“Coach Beatty’s daughter, Colleen, is someone else who has really helped me,” Seyfang said. “I was going through a really rough time this season, things weren’t going the way I wanted. She called me and talked me through it, told me it was going to be okay; to not focus on it because there are bigger things in life, because this is something I love and cherish.
“All of these people come together and make a really good support team for me,” Seyfang said. “I’d also like to thank the Findlay head coach who I’ve been working with and training with all fall and winter and into the spring. He’s just become a really good friend and mentor, as well.”
“She’s spent a lot of time, especially the last two years,” Miami Trace head coach Brent Noes said. “She’s pretty much dedicated her life to the sport of track and field and the shot put and discus. She’s basically been training the year around, from competing in indoor track in the winter to the outdoor high school season, then, going into the summer season. And going to camps in the fall.
“She’s worked really hard to get to where she is at today,” Noes said. “It’s really special to watch all this hard work pay off for her.
“You can look at the numbers on paper,” Noes said. “When you get to the State meet, these numbers on paper don’t always mean everything. There’s a lot of pressure on these young athletes, especially those who are getting to State for the first time. Whereas, with Katie, this is her third trip up to Columbus. That’s going to be a strength for her. She’s got that confidence going in. She knows what to expect. She knows what it’s about, what it’s like and what she has to do. I think that’s going to help her out.
“We have high expectations for Katie, Friday and Saturday,” Noes said. “She set a new school record this year in the discus that’s been there since 1989 at 138’ 4”. She broke Tia Burns’ record. If she can get up around 138, she’s going to put herself in great position to be high on the podium and that’s her goal, for sure.”