The Washington Lady Blue Lions will be sending six team members to the State track meet in four events.
The Division II meet begins Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the Jesse Owens Memorial Track on the campus of The Ohio State University.
The Lady Lions are sending three relays: the 4 x 100, 4 x 200 and 4 x 400, and Alexis Gray in the 400-meter dash.
The first event semifinal for Washington will be the 4 x 200-meter relay at 2:30 p.m.
That relay features recent graduates Alexis Gray, Megan Mullins, Haley Petitt and Holly Inskeep.
Washington placed third in the finals at the Athens Regional with a time of 1:46.22.
That time places Washington 13th out of 16 teams at the State. They will be in lane seven in the first heat.
The top two in each heat, plus the next five best times, qualify to the finals on Saturday. The track at State is a nine-lane track, and the State only awards medals to the top eight in each event.
Next for the Lady Lions will be the semifinals in the 4 x 100-meter relay.
The team of (all graduates) Haley Petitt, Holly Inskeep, Maria Wilson and Megan Mullins, placed third at the Regional with a time of 51.09.
That time places them 15th at the State.
Washington will run in lane seven of the first heat at 2:50 p.m.
Alexis Gray will run in her semifinal of the 400-meter dash at 3 p.m. Friday.
Gray placed third at the Regional with a time of 58.59. That time sits her 12th in the event. She will run in lane seven of the first heat of the 400-meter dash.
Finally for the Lady Lions, it will be the 4 x 400-meter relay, featuring Gray, Petitt, sophomore Maddy Garrison and Mullins.
Washington placed third in the finals at the Regional meet with a time of 4:07.71, which would seed them 15th overall.
As with the other three events, Washington’s 4 x 400-meter relay will be in lane seven of the first heat.
There are also four alternates going to State for Washington: Kynzie Osborne, Savanna Davis, Hannah Patterson and Jaelyn Mason.
The Record-Herald’s Martin Graham caught up with the State-bound contingent prior to a practice session Tuesday morning.
“This is my first time competing at State,” Megan Mullins said. “I went as an alternate as a freshman and I still had so much fun.
“It’s going to be a lot easier, knowing it’s my last time running at Jesse Owens,” Mullins said. “We’re probably going to go into every event thinking we’re the best, just so we don’t get ourselves down.
“I hope that all three of our relays make it to the finals,” Mullins said. “That would be awesome.”
Haley Petitt is also a member of all three relays for the Lady Lions. It will be her second time competing at State.
“It’s a huge accomplishment,” Petitt said. “I can’t believe I did it, really. I can’t wait to run with my team. It’s a good way to end my senior year.”
This will be the fourth year in a row that Alexis Gray has qualified to State.
Gray was asked about graduating from Washington High School on Sunday.
“It was awesome,” Gray said. “I was so excited.”
As for the State track meet…
“I’m really ready for our team and the relays to compete,” Gray said. “Because, we all have a chance to make it to (Saturday’s finals).”
As the most-accomplished member of team, Gray had a few thoughts on the upcoming trip to State.
“I would tell the girls not to be nervous, because it just gets to you,” Gray said. “And, get out hard.”
Holly Inskeep was asked about the graduation from Washington H.S.
“Actually, yes, I’m glad (to have graduated),” Inskeep said. “I’ve been waiting for this moment practically since I was born.”
This will be Inskeep’s second trip to the State meet.
“I’m thrilled,” Inskeep said. “I’m so pumped. The times that we’re running now, these are the best times since I’ve been able to run track. It’s exciting to know that you have a fighting chance.
“I’m just looking forward to the entire experience, running both of them,” Inskeep said.
This will be Maria Wilson’s first time competing at the State track meet.
‘I’m extremely excited,” Wilson said. “I think that we all have a chance. I’m excited just to see how we do. I think that we’ve come really far, so, I’m excited to get rewarded to run (at State). I think if we all just run our hardest, we’ll be fine.”
This will be Maddy Garrison’s first time to run at State.
“It feels good,” Garrison said. “I’m the only underclassman going to State, so, it kind of feels cool. I’m just excited for the competition. I’ve never really seen competition like that; I know everything will be fast. It’ll be a great experience to have for my next two years of high school.”
“I’m really excited that the girls qualified in four events,” Washington head coach Louis Reid said. “We’re looking forward to competing Friday and Saturday. We’ve got a goal of getting on the podium. The girls have been working extremely hard and the work’s not done yet.”
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1ach