Fairbanks’ Macy Miller clears the high jump bar (top photo) with ease Friday morning at Westerville North High School. Miller cleared 5-5 and placed second during the Division III state meet. In the bottom photo, Miller goes over a hurdle during the 100 meter race Friday evening. She qualified for today’s finals in the hurdle event. (Journal-Tribune photos by Tim Miller)
Fairbanks High School sophomore Macy Miller went into the Division III state girls high jump a little under the radar.
Her regional best height of 5-3 didn’t stand out against some of the other state jumpers Friday morning at Westerville North High School.
Being underestimated by the opposition, however, can sometimes work to an athlete’s advantage.
It surely did for the local jumper.
Miller more than proved she belonged among the state’s high jump elite as she finished second in the state to Springfield Catholic Central’s Mallory Mullen.
There were only two jumpers left (out of the original 18) as the bar was raised to 5-6.
Miller cleared the starting height of 5-0 and then leaped over 5-2, 5-4 and 5-5, each on her first attempt.
Mullen, who as a freshman two years ago won the D-III girls high jump, matched Miller jump-for-jump through 5-5.
That was Miller’s personal record and it was now time to see if she could eclipse that standard.
It wasn’t to be, however, as the Lady Panther standout missed all three attempts at 5-6.
Mullen cleared 5-6 on her first attempt.
That guaranteed her another state title and Miller the runner-up spot.
Mullen decided she wanted to try for additional heights.
With Miller and many others cheering her on, Mullen cleared 5-8 on her third and final attempt.
The bar then climbed to 5-10.25, which if conquered, would set a new Division III girls state record.
Mullen cleared the record-breaking height on her first try and then set her eyes on 5-11.
She wasn’t able to make that height, but the competition ended with vaulters from two Ohio Heritage Conference schools taking first and second.
“I’m very happy,” said Miller. “I had family and coaches here supporting me.”
“Macy did what she does best,” said Fairbanks head coach Patrick Cotter. “She wasn’t nervous and cleared the first four jumps.
“Macy did a fantastic job.”
The FHS athlete competed in two other events, both of which were running semifinals, on Friday.
She advanced to today’s finals in the 100-meter hurdles.
Miller placed third in her prelim heat with a time of 15.30.
That was just a fraction off her regional time of 15.29.
The top two finishers in each of three heats qualified for today’s finals.
The finals field was rounded out by the next two best times, one of which Miller posted.
She is set to run in the 100 hurdle finals today at 2:30 p.m.
Miller later competed in the 300 hurdles.
She finished fourth in her heat with a clocking of 46.15.
That was better than her regional time of 47.69, but did not qualify her to today’s 300 finals.
“I did the best I could in both races,” she said. “There were a lot of good girls in both races.
“My quad started to bother me when I raced in the 300’s.”
Miller will also compete in today’s finals of the girls long jump.
Competition in that event was slated to begin at 10 a.m.
Fairbanks will be represented to two other finals events today.
Freshman Rachel Hoover will compete in the 800 run at 2:40 p.m. and the 1600 at 3:35 p.m.
FHS was represented in running semifinals by two additional runners on Friday.
Senior Gage Wilson finished fourth in his heat of the 300 hurdles with a time of 41.48.
That bettered his regional clocking of 41.81, but did not qualify him for today’s finals.
Wilson battled back from sixth place down the straight-away and looked as though he might finish third in his heat.
That’s when things went south of the border.
A runner in the lane next to Wilson fell.
The fallen runner’s leg stuck out in Wilson’s lane, which caused the Panther hurdler to fall.
Wilson, however, had the presence of mind to jump to his feet and sprint toward the finish line.
“I’m not hurt,” he said after the race. “I tripped over the guy’s leg.”
Senior Trey Good competed in the 200-meter dash prelims.
He finished third in his heat at 23.10, which was a little slower than his 22.79 effort in last week’s regional.
He did not advance to today’s finals.
“I could have gone faster, but it was the best I could do today,” said Good.
In the photo to the left, Gage Wilson of Fairbanks competes during the Division III boys 300 meter hurdle state prelims at Westerville North High School. In the photo below, FHS’ Trey Good runs down the straight-away of the 200 dash prelims. Neither runner advanced to today’s finals. (Journal-Tribune photos by Sam Dillon)