8 takeaways from 2019 state track

Seneca East’s England caps tremendous career, Calvert’s Meyer, Mohawk’s Mullholand impress with their post-meet interviews

PHOTO BY REBECCA PADULA Seneca East's Morgan England watches a reply of her last vault with her coach/father Gary England in the Pole Vault semifinals in the Division III State Track & Field Championships at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

1. It would have been a storybook ending had Morgan England won a state title in the pole vault Friday. Almost poetic. After her father Gary coached four Seneca East athletes to runner-up finishes at state, it’s his daughter that brings home the ultimate prize.

2. It didn’t happen, but no one is to blame for that. Well, maybe you can blame Margaretta freshman Kenna Stimmel for being other-worldly this weekend, but that’s about it. It was Stimmel’s sister, Kassidie, who out-vaulted England at state last season. And this year, Stimmel continued the family tradition, setting a Division III record by clearing 13-0 ¼. That’s tough to beat.

3. It’d be understandable if England is frustrated. After finishing fifth as a freshman and eighth as a sophomore, she just missed out on a title as a junior. Then Friday, she recorded a vault which — any other year of her career — would have won her the crown. But she showed great sportsmanship afterward, giving credit to Stimmel and calling her a friend. Also, she gave a good interview to me, though, as good as she has been for four years, she’s gotten plenty of practice with those. England does have a state indoor pole vault title, and will vault at Findlay next year. I’m not gonna be shocked if we hear about her competing for national titles in the near future.

4. Zoe Meyer might want to look into a career as a sports analyst. The Calvert junior finished eighth in the Division III long jump Friday. Her interview after being on the podium was the type of thing you’d expect to hear from a polished olympic athlete, perhaps even an announcer. We’ll probably hear plenty more from Meyer next year — on the track, yes — but also with Calvert’s volleyball team as it looks to defend it’s Division IV state championship.

5. I do believe that Brook Boes will break the Columbian shot put record, will return to state, and will leave the school as the greatest female thrower the program has seen. And with her penchant for improvement — she finished third in the discus with a PR Saturday — next spring is likely to be a very big year for Boes.

6. Mohawk’s Taeylor Mullholand didn’t have the meet she wanted; after finishing third in the high jump as a freshman a year ago, she was unable to clear 5-3 and didn’t make the podium. She was clearly — and understandably — upset afterward. And yet, when her coach Sunshine Cleveland brought her over for an interview, Mullholand gave an excellent answer.

7. It’s got to be hard for athletes to talk to us in the media sometimes, but especially after things don’t go their way. It’s different if it’s a college or pro athlete. It’s difficult for them too, I’m sure, but time and experience probably make those situations a little easier. I came away impressed with all of the athletes I interviewed this week, but none more so than Mullholand, who handled a difficult day on the track with class. She still has two years to go, so there’s a good chance she’ll be back.

8. Somehow, the way this spring has gone, you just kind of knew there would be a weather delay of some kind at the state meet. But 4 ½ hours Friday? On the upside, after writing some quotes out I was able to resume my Baseball GM Mogul computer game. My 1975 Cleveland Indians won more this weekend than the 2019 version did in real life. And I did learn I can sleep in a hard, upright chair. It’s all about challenging yourself.

Zach Baker is the sports editor at The Advertiser-Tribune.

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