COLUMBUS — Recent Miami Trace graduate Katie Seyfang certainly peaked at the right time.
After winning the Frontier Athletic Conference in both throwing events, then placing second at the District meet in both, and winning the Regional in the shot put and placing second in the discus throw at the Regional, Seyfang saved her best for last Friday morning in the 44th annual girls State track meet at The Ohio State University.
Seyfang unloaded on her final throw of the event, and drilled a new school record of 144’ 5” to capture the Division II State championship.
In the preliminary round, Seyfang threw a 127’ 9”, then a 122’ 6” and a 113’ 5”. The 127’ 9” was good enough to advance her to the finals.
Seyfang began the finals with a foul on her first throw.
After that, something clicked, big-time, as she let loose with a throw of 138’ 5”.
Approaching her final throw, she trailed Beyonce Bobbitt of Milton-Union, who was leading with a throw of 143’ 3”.
Seyfang dug down deep, stepped into the circle and released the disc. It traveled 144’ 5”.
There were still five competitors left. Five throws to try and beat that mark.
Among those, Autumn Mohan of Unioto threw a 133’ 2”, Lauren Johnson of Kenton landed a 139’ 3” and Bobbitt’s final throw was 137’ 1”.
Let the celebration begin!
“Coming in, I was seeded eighth,” Seyfang said. “Last year, at the State meet, there were one or two girls who were really high and everyone else was kind of lower.
“This year, we were all in, like, one giant circle, one bundle,” Seyfang said. “I was taking it one throw at a time, trying to fix little things here and there. Then, my last throw, I was like, you know what, we’re going to win this thing. I can’t even think right now.”
“What an unbelievable feeling right now for Katie,” Miami Trace head coach Brent Noes said. “She came in seeded eighth. She had three good throws in the prelims to advance to the finals.
“Katie came into the finals in sixth place,” Noes said. “In the first round of throws in the finals, she got jumped by two people and fell to eighth. Then, after the second throw in the finals, she got jumped again and went to ninth.
“She popped a 138’ 5”, that beat her school record of 138’ 4”,” Noes said. “She got passed one more time and was second going into the final round of throws.
“She didn’t know where she stood this entire time,” Noes said. “She didn’t realize that people had jumped her and she had fallen to ninth.
“I felt that this was a strength of Katie’s, that this was her third time at the State meet,” Noes said. “And that the pressure wasn’t going to be as bad on her as it was on some of the other young ladies. The fact that she was able to keep her composure and she popped one that she knew was a good throw. She held her composure and stayed strong mentally. She came out on that last throw and hit the winning throw.
“I couldn’t be more excited or more happy for her,” Noes said. “Not only, Katie, but her family and the Miami Trace family, too. We’re super-excited to have our second State champion (Caleb Wilt won the 110-meter hurdles State title in 2015) in track and field.
“And she still gets to come back (Saturday) and compete in the shot put,” Noes said. “It could not have happened to a better young lady and the reward for all of the hard work she’s put in.”
“We knew it could happen,” coach Jeff Bennett said. “Katie’s been a great athlete for us for four years now. She pushes herself, everyday. She knows how to fight. She knows how to overcome adversity when she’s throwing. She puts herself in some bad positions and she fights through it every time.
“I couldn’t be more proud to coach a girl like that,” Bennett said. “This is great. She’s a good, powerful thrower, so (Saturday) is going to be an interesting day.”