Above, Evie McDaniel, left, of Jonathan Alder prepares to receive the baton from Morgan Hicks during the Division II state track meet at Pickerington North High School on Friday. Below, Elaina Winslow pushes through the final 100 meters of the 4×800 relay race to give the Lady Pioneers sixth place in the state. (Journal-Tribune photos by Sam Dillon)
The Jonathan Alder girls 4×800-meter relay team went into the Division II state track meet at Pickerington North High School with the sixth-best seed time.
They could do no better when it came race time as the quartet of Morgan Hicks, Evie McDaniel, Liza Streit and Elaina Winslow took sixth place in the state event with a time of 9:35.
The Lady Pioneers, who normally run in an order of Winslow, Streit, McDaniel and Hicks, reversed their order for the state race to try and gain a competitive edge over the field.
“We reversed it and I think we gave all that we had,” said Hicks. “It is a hot day and we were hoping for 9:30, but we are just happy to be here.”
The move put Hicks on the starting line when the gun sounded.
She started the race in the back of the pack of 18 runners for the first lap.
On lap two of the first leg, Hicks made her move with 300 meters left, picking her way through the crowd.
She settled in fourth place before handing the baton over to McDaniel.
McDaniel held her spot in the race through her two laps.
She closed the gap slightly before it was Streit’s turn with the stick.
McDaniel said the environment was something she wasn’t expecting.
“It was a lot,” she said. “There were a lot of people and I could only hear a constant buzz everywhere.
“However, it felt really good.”
Streit worked through the first 200 meters of her leg of the race holding on to fourth place.
However, the rest of the pack started to close the gap.
By the time Streit handed the baton off to the Lady Pioneers anchor leg, Winslow, JA was riding in sixth position.
Winslow kept the Lady Pioneers in their position and found herself on an island as runners either stretched out their lead ahead of her or faded back.
Winslow pushed during the final 200 meters of the race and shaved a few seconds off the gap.
The distance, though, was too large to make up any positions.
Hicks will now move on to her second state meet event, the 3200-meter run.
She finished her regional meet in first place with a time of 10:46. The time seeds her in second place at the state meet.
Hicks is set to run at 3:50 p.m. today
Joey Walker will join Hicks during day two of the meet.
He will compete in the high jump at 10 a.m.
Walker finished in second place at the regional with a leap of 6-4.