COLUMBUS — St. Marys Memorial senior Kelly Heitkamp made this year’s journey to state in the pole vault a business trip. Heitkamp closed the deal with a finish five places better and a foot higher than last year’s trip.
Heitkamp cleared 10 feet, six inches and wrapped up her record-setting senior season with a seventh-place finish in the Division II girls pole vault on Saturday morning at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
“I was joking with my coach (Rob Cisco) that last year was for fun and this year was for business,” Heitkamp said about being at state for a second straight season. “I was hoping to make 11 feet, but my goal was to make podium. So I was pretty pleased.”
She set a school record earlier this spring by clearing 10 feet, eight inches.
Heitkamp said the thrill of competing at this level will be what she remembers about her state trips.
“I’m definitely going to remember competing in front of all these fans,” Heitkamp said. “I’ve never done this in a stadium so full. The crowd is loud and engegetic. It’s crazy.”
“I couldn’t ask for a better finish,” she said. “I’m here, I made podium.”
While one area WBL athlete was finishing off her track career on the podium, another was doing big things as just a sophomore in the Division II meet.
Celina sophomore Bekah Carr competed in the girls long jump and pole vault simultaneously on Saturday morning, turning in a second-place finish in the long jump with a leap of 17 feet, 6.25 inches and a fourth-place finish in the pole vault by clearing 10 feet, six inches.
She made the tough transition back and forth between events look easy.
“My coaches prepared me really well by doing it at WBL’s on,” Carr said. “It’s almost like a reliever going to long jump from pole vault because the pole vault is so technical and the long jump you just run and jump. It’s like a get a break from pole vault. I think I do well with that.”
Celina’s Michaela Wenning, who won the girls high jump state title on Friday, finished sixth in the 300 meter hurdles with a 45.74-second time.
Akrons St. Vincent-St. Marys’ won the boys Division II team title with 49 points. Versailles finished third with 36 points.
Eastwood Academy won the girls team title with 58 points. Coldwater took sixth with 27 points. Kenton ws 13th with 15 points.
Around the DII MAC and WBL: Coldwater’s Sarah Kanney won the girls 1600 meter run championship with a 4:55.26 time and then took third in the girls 800 meter run with a 2:12.75 time. Versailles’ Sam Prakel was a double champion on Saturday. Prakel won the boys 1600 meter run with a 4:14 time while Van Wert’s Jared Fleming was second (4:15.29) and Defiance’s Ben Rath was fifth (4:20.18). Prakel followed it up with a victory in the 800 meter run with a 1:52.32 time. Defiance’s Abel Flores won the boys 3200 meter title (9:29.21). Kenton’s Terrill Webb finished tied with Carr for fourth in the pole vault. Kenton’s girls 800 meter relay team of Webb, Audrey Miller Brooke Bostelman and Kailey Whitaker finished seventh (1:43.64) while O-G’s quartet of Danielle Ellerbrock, Michelle Maag, Elissa Ellerbrock and Madison Stechschulte took eighth (1:43.7). That same Kenton quartet took third in the girls 1600 meter relay (3:58.37). Bath’s Joselyn Ayers took sixth in the girls 200 meter dash (25.52). Coldwater’s Jill Kanney was eighth in the 3200 meter run (11:26.78). Versailles’ 1600 meter relay team finished third (3:20.21), Van Wert took sixth (3:23.31) and Elida was eighth (3:23.44).