Brynn Rychlik clears the pole vault bar in this file photo. Rychlik, the Division I district champ, will compete in the regional meet on Friday. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
The 2021 high school track and field season continues this week for a handful of Marysville High School athletes.
Sibling pole vaulters, a couple of distance runners and a pair in field events will compete later this week during the Division I regional meet.
Pickerington North High School will host the meet, which is the final step athletes must take before qualifying for state competition next week.
Sisters Bryn and Jacklyn Rychlik will compete on Friday during the girls pole vault.
Competition is set to begin 4:30 p.m.
Bryn Hothem and Katie Krueger will respectively run in the girls 1600 and 3200 meter races.
Hothem will take to the track on Friday at 5:35 p.m.
Krueger will follow a while later when 3200 runners tour eight laps around the track, beginning at approximately 7:45 p.m.
Marysville’s regional field event athletes will begin competition in finals on Wednesday, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Cameron Jones will match his talents with fellow long jumpers, while Carys Gossett will spin the discus.
Gossett will then return on Friday at 4:30 p.m. to throw in the girls shot put.
Bryn Rychlik has risen head and shoulders above other vaulters, winning Ohio Capital Conference Cardinal Division and Central District accolades this year.
She currently holds the MHS girls mark of 13-3.
The sisters said there is a healthy competition between the two of them.
However, “we’re definitely each other’s biggest fan,” said Jacklyn, whose best mark this year is 11-8.
Bryn won the district title and Jacklyn finished third to qualify for the regional.
Bryn figures, at least on paper, to be among the favorites to claim the regional title.
“I think my biggest competition will be Sarah Borton of Olentangy Orange,” she said. “She’s gone 12-9.”
“There are going to be four others who cleared 11-8 at the district,” said Jacklyn.
The top four finishers in the event will advance to next week’s state meet at Hilliard Darby High School.
Bryn said it really doesn’t matter how high she vaults.
It will be doing what is required to place among the top four and advance to the sport’s biggest stage.
Jacklyn would obviously not turn down a state berth.
However, she does have a little different perspective.
“It’s nice to qualify for the regional as a sophomore,” she said, “especially since we didn’t have a season (due to COVID-19) when I was a freshman.
“I just want to have some fun.
“I’m very excited to reach the regional meet,” said Hothem, who does have experience in post-season running.
She advanced to the Division I state cross-country meet as a freshman during the fall of 2019.
‘I really didn’t expect this at all,” said Krueger. “I really thought the district would be the final race of my high school career.”
A huge kick during the final three laps this past Saturday made sure that wouldn’t happen.
Krueger was anywhere from sixth to 11th in the pack before her final few trips around Darby’s track.
Her kick of 1:22 propelled her to a third-place finish and a spot in the regional.
“I ran the first mile in about six (minutes) flat and then just hung on for dear life,” she said.
Her 11:56 clocking in the regional established a new personal record.
Hothem qualified for the regional 1600 with a fourth-place district time of 5:17.
She feels she may have to whittle approximately seven seconds off that mark in order to move on to the state meet.
“It’s not, however, the time, but the place in the race that really matters,” said MHS head coach Luke Sundermeier. “You finish in the top four, you’re advancing.”
Jones has cleared the board and landed in the pit to the tune of 21-7.25 this year. That bettered his best effort of 19-8 set two years ago as a freshman.
“It’s great to be going to the regional as a junior,” he said. “We weren’t able to compete when I was a sophomore.”
“My goal is obviously to qualify for the state,” said Jones. “I think I’m going to have to jump in the high 22’s in order to do that.”
Gossett will carry her top heave of 36-2.5 in the shot and 112 feet-plus in the discus at the regional.
Her best-ever spin of the platter, however, stands at 118-6.
Gossett knows she’s going up against standout throwers in both events.
That, however, doesn’t appear to rattle her.
“I compete pretty well when there is pressure,” he said. “That’s when it’s fun.”
Gossett said she may have to throw the shot a foot farther and the discus two feet farther than she’s done this year to qualify for the state.
“I think I have it in me to do that,” she said. “We’ll just wait and see.”
Monarch distance runners Katie Krueger, left, and Bryn Hothem are shown competing in the Division I district 3200 meter run. Krueger has qualified for the regional meet in the 3200. Hothem will run in the regional 1600. Both events will be contested on Friday at Pickerington North High School. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
Jacklyn Rychlik makes it over the pole vault bar in this file photo. She will compete in the Division I regional meet on Friday. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
Marysville’s Cameron Jones practices the long jump Monday afternoon. Jones will compete in the Division I regional at Pickerington North High School on Wednesday. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
Carys Gossett of MHS practices the shot put Monday afternoon. She will compete in both the shot put and discus during the Division I regional meet this week at Pickerington North High School. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)