Gardner, Rohrer, Sury stand tall on track podium
COLUMBUS – Raelyn Gardner went from standing on the podium to lying on sand and foam.
The Warren pole vault standout and record-holder repeated as All-Ohio when she cleared the bar at 11 feet to finish in fifth place in the event in the D2 state track meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium Saturday.
“It’s amazing,” said Gardner, who placed in eighth in DI with a pole vault of 11 feet in last year’s OHSAA track and field championships. There was a little bit of headwind, but I’m not disappointed. I’m so happy to be able to compete at state.
“I want to thank Pat Wigal (Warren pole vault coach) and my family for supporting me for the last four years.”
Staying in Columbus overnight, Gardner boarded the 45-minute flight to Myrtle Beach, S.C., Sunday morning to vacation with her Warren senior classmates.
“We won’t be returning home until next Saturday,” Gardner said.
Also earning All-Ohio honors Saturday in D3 for the second straight year were Waterford senior Ally Rohrer and junior Maddy Sury.
Rohrer, an all-stater in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles last year, placed eighth in the 100 hurdles over the weekend in a clocking of 15.75.
“Going into the finals, I was ranked ninth,” Rohrer said. “So, I needed to beat one person to be able to stand on the podium. And, I did it.”
Only the top 8 in each event at state are recognized as All-Ohio.
“To be honest with you, I didn’t run very good (Saturday),” Rohrer continued. “I ran my best times in the regional and district.
“The competition at state was so much harder. But I can’t complain. Placing eighth is better than ninth.”
A 2014 Waterford spring graduate, Rohrer said she is not planning to compete at the collegiate level. Still, her racing days may not be over with, yet.
“I’m hoping to hear from the people from Meet of Champions,” she said.
The Midwest Meet of Champions, which pits the Indiana track all-stars against the standouts from Ohio and Michigan, is scheduled to run at Granville High and Denison University this upcoming Saturday (June 14).
Sury, who was All-Ohio Friday in the long jump with a runner-up finish, added to her medal count Saturday, when she placed sixth in the 800 meter run in a time of 2:17.59. Last year, she was also all-state in the 800 with an eighth-place finish.
“I had a big weekend,” Sury said. “And, I want to thank Coach Scott Miller for all he’s done for me.”
Sury said she was “less nervous” at state this time.
“At the starting line, I just felt confident, and I paced myself,” she said. “During the race, all 16 of us were together, and I actually tripped a little bit. But I was able to recover and kick it in down the stretch.”
Sury nearly finished fifth in the race, but was picked off by Berkshire’s Christin Dornback at the finish in 2:17.54.
The school record holder in the long jump and 800, Sury is a senior-to-be at Waterford.
“Next year, I’ll be looking for the gold,” she said.
This summer, Sury is planning to both work and work out to get ready for Waterford volleyball and cross country in the fall. She’s also a Lady Wildcat basketball player in the winter.
Also competing but not placing at state Saturday was Caldwell’s Jenna Furr. The Lady Redskins long-distance running standout placed ninth in the 3200 in 11 minutes, 38.93 seconds.
Furr is planning to compete at Wheeling Jesuit University next school semester.
Belpre sophomore Cray Sistrunk was scheduled to race in the 1600 meter run at state on Saturday but had to bow out due to a bout with mononucleosis.
“Cray caught a bad break, and was not allowed to run,” said Belpre track and field assistant coach Jim Cunningham.
Sistrunk is also a cross country standout, and should be ready to run in the fall.