Sunday, June 04, 2000

Ohio girls track roundup

Wyoming girls win two golds

By Dave Schutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DAYTON — The Wyoming girls 800 and 1600-meter relay teams stole the limelight at the girls state track meet at Welcome Stadium.

        In a day of disappointments for Cincinnati athletes, Lola Omoyosi, Elizabeth Shelleby, Julie Knapke and Robin Fulton brought home two gold medals.

        The only individual winner was Jennifer Caldwell, a senior at East Clinton who won the 300 hurdles. On Friday, Colerain's 3200-meter relay team won the Division I state championship.

        “I closed my eyes during the final meters and reached down for something extra,” Knapke said. “I didn't think anyone was coming up on me and I wasn't going to be passed.”

        Knapke was referring to the final 400 meters of the 1600 relay that saw the Cowboys trail only once, that coming on the third leg with about 200 meters remaining.

        “I knew that no matter what happened, we were winners because of the 800-meter relay that we won,” Omoyosi said.

        From the beginning of the season, Wyoming coach Cornell Munlin planned on the foursome running the 1600, but putting them together in the 800 was an experiment, with no one talking state title.

        “We weren't expected to win the 800,” Fulton said. “It was hard to settle down between races. Everyone was excited.”

        Shelleby, the only underclassman, was excited for the three seniors.

        “This was for the Angel, Lola and Julie,” Shelleby said. “It feels great and I'd like to do it again.”

        In an effort to relax the girls, Munlin changed the order of the runners, moving Fulton from anchor to second and Knapke to anchor.

        “Julie is a determined runner and a strong finisher,” Munlin said. “I moved Robin to second in order to get a big lead.”

        The 20 points by the relay teams earned Wyoming a Cincinnati-best sixth place finish in Division II.

        ZINN INJURED: One of the biggest disappointments was an injury to Lakota East junior Lindsay Zinn in the Division I 1600 meters.

        Holding the lead most of the race, Zinn suffered a foot injury when stepped on by another runner trying to pass with 300 remaining. Zinn, the fastest qualifier, finished sixth and was forced to withdraw from the 3200 meters.

        JONES EYES GOLD IN 2001: After failing to qualify to the Division I 100 and 300 meter hurdles, Wilmington junior Desiree Jones was on a mission in the high jump.

        With a leap of 5-8, Jones took second, bettering her third place finish at the 1999 state meet.

        “My goal is gold next year,” Jones said. “I was tight today early but when the bar reached 5-6, I loosened up and jumped better.”

        Defending state champion Christina Estrict, from Cleveland Collinwood, set a state record record of 6-0. < p>         BAD START HURTS: A bad start in the 100 hurdles led to a fourth place finish in the 100 hurdles by Walnut Hills sophomore Amanda Mullins-Hall.

        “I guess I was a little nervous,” Mullins-Hall, who ran a 14.6, said. “Yesterday was my personal best (14.4) and I wanted to better it today.”

        HOWLAND REACHES GOAL: Erika Howland's goal was to bring home a medal and the Mariemont senior accomplished it with a sixth place finish in the Division II 800 meters.

        “I got boxed in with 300 meters to go,” Howland said. “I finally got to the outside and got up for sixth.”

        Howland's time of 2:20.66 did not equal her personal best of 2:19.0.

Ohio girls track results

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