by JOHN HOWLEY / sportingpumpkin.com
COLUMBUS — The 2022-2023 school athletic year officially came to an end this afternoon for area schools as the final four active athletes ran in the state finals of the Division II track and field championships.
Circleville’s Faith Yancey highlighted the performances as the junior placed fifth in the 200-meter dash, breaking the school record she set the week before.
Also competing Saturday were Circleville’s Maddux Bigam in the 1,600 meters and Westfall’s Caitlyn Shipley and Josh Trapp – both in the 800 meters.
Yancey finished seventh at the state meet last year and had the sixth-fastest qualifying time yesterday as she ran a 25.53.
She came back this afternoon to run the 200 meters in 25.15 seconds.
“It feels amazing. I had the sixth time (in qualifying) and I was hoping to get a place higher than last year, which was seventh, and I got two places higher, so I’m proud of myself,” Yancey said. “And I shaved off some time.”
At last year’s state meet, she set the school record running the race in 25.98 seconds. Last week at the regional meet, she ran it in 25.31 seconds.
Marengo Highland senior Juliette Laracuente-Huebner won the title as she ran the 200 meters in 24.23 seconds.
Facing off with runners like Laracuente-Huebner and the other top girls from across the state brings out the best, Yancey said.
“It helps so, so much. I didn’t break 26 (seconds) until regionals,” she said. “Having competition with these talented girls, it helps just so much. I love racing against them, and they push me so much.”
Yancey, who ran in the 100-meter semifinals Friday, has another year to continue her excellent athletic career for the Tigers where she also plays soccer and basketball.
“All my sports I do help keep me in shape. Basketball – I try to balance indoor (track) and basketball. It’s basically staying in shape and once track comes around, I really grind it out and focus on that,” she said.
Circleville’s Maddux Bigam had a tough group of competitors in Saturday’s 1,600 meters. The sophomore finished 16th in the state with a time of 5:22.35. She was 10th after the first two laps running 1:13.39 and 1:19.9 before dropping back to 15th after the third lap running a 1:27.02 and ran 1:22.09 to finish out the race.
Oakwood senior Bella Butler led most of the way in winning in 4:49.01. Butler also won the state title in the 3,200 meters.
Westfall junior Caitlyn Shipley took 12th in the girls 800 meters with a time of 2:19.42. She ran the first lap in 1:06.61 and ran 1:12.81 on the second.
Ottawa-Glandorf senior Alexa Fortman won the event with a time of 2:09.96.
Westfall sophomore Josh Trapp finished 18th in the boys 800 meters with a time of 2:01.29, just behind Unioto senior Ashton Beverly (2:00.98). Trapp ran his first lap in 56.83 and followed that with a time of 1:04.46.
Fairless senior Brody Pumneo won the race with a time of 1:53.03.