Waiting game pays off for state track participants

COLUMBUS – Ashley Borsch waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And, then, waited some more.

“I can’t take this,” she said.

The Edison graduate was waiting for the official announcement of the nine finalists in today’s 300 hurdles at the Ohio State Track and Field Championships at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at Ohio State University.

The public address announcer started reading off the names.

He was two from the end.

“Well, I tried,” she said.

Then, her name was announced and, basically, Borsch was stunned.

“I can’t comprehend this,” she said as tears welled up in her eyes.

She had a terrible start. Her steps were a mess. But, she qualified and will run in Lane 9.

“It (the lane) doesn’t matter,” Borsch said. “I just have to bust my butt and run my race.”

Borsch ran in the first heat and finished fourth in 47.09 and the waiting began.

“Top nine in the state – that’s so hard to comprehend,” she said. “It doesn’t feel real. It feels like they are lying. I didn’t think I was that good at all.”

She admitted this run to the state final wasn’t exactly on her radar a month, or so, ago.

“I was so out of shape. I wasn’t ready,” she admitted. “I about threw in the towel, honestly. I didn’t think I would make it out of districts.”

And, what made her not throw in the towel.

“It’s my senior year. My last chance to do anything,” Borsch said. “It’s my last raced tomorrow in the 300s. I might as well give my all. Hopefully, another PR.”

Indian Creek graduate Whitney Martin remembers her first race this year in the 100.

“I ran 13.7,” she said. “Now this.”

This is qualifying in the 100 and 200 for the Division II finals.

She was clocked in 12.17 to take third in her heat. She has the fourth-fastest time into the final. Her 25.48 in the 200 tied for the eighth qualifier.

“I’ve come a long way since that first 100,” she said. “I felt good today in the 100. I’m really happy with how I ran.

“I’m still shocked I’m here and to run in two events is amazing. It’s crazy. It’s one of the biggest blessings I’ve ever had. It’s an honor to be here.

“My track coaches, my mom and Crystal and Joe Hammack have helped me a lot through this.”

Martin qualified in the 200 from Lane 8 and didn’t like it.

“There’s no one to chase,” she said. “I think I ran it pretty well. But, I know I can do better tomorrow.”

Steubenville Big Red sophomore Elise Watts qualified in the Division II 100 hurdles.

Her 15.39, a PR, is the seventh-best qualifier and she will get Lane 8.

“I was so nervous before the race,” Watts admitted. “I couldn’t hold still. It’s states and I was running against people I had never run against before. You never know what might happen.

“I was so happy I qualified because last year I didn’t qualify. I reached a goal and that is a relief.

“I think I’ll be even more nervous tomorrow. But, I like being nervous because it helps me push myself.”

Before running the 100 hurdles final this morning, Watts will be in the long jump finals.

“I think it will be good to jump before the hurdles,” she said. “It will help me get loose and be ready.”

Indian Creek’s Kristen Shimko finished 12th in the discus at 115-0.

Big Red’s Joey Nodianos ran 15.22 and finished 12th in the 110 hurdles and teammate Ja’Quan Lavender ran 51.66 and took 12th in the 400.

Steubenville’s 4×200 relay team of Watts, Kira Newburn, Knisha Sanders and Lysaih Rice ran 1:46.14 and placed 14th.

Indian Creek’s Madison Smith ran 1:02.39 in the 400 and took 16th.