Finalist of Galion à Branstetter in high jump at state D-II
PICKERINGTON – Twice Saturday at Pickerington North High School, Galion’s Caleb Branstetter found himself on the verge of elimination in the boys’ high jump.
With a height set at 6 feet, 5 inches, Branstetter hit the bar against the mat twice, giving it one more kick to stay in the race. On his third try, Branstetter crossed the bar and left the mat with a big smile on his face.
“Why do I keep doing this to myself?” Branstetter said aloud as he left the carpet.
The senior found himself in the same situation at 6-6. Much like he did at the previous height, Branstetter did it when his back was against the wall, clearing the bar and matching his PR.
“Third try every time,” Branstetter said with a smile as he left the mat.
Although Branstetter already had the All-Ohio honors locked up, he had bigger goals in mind on Day 2 of the OHSAA Division II Track and Field Championships.
“I was just getting on an emotional roller coaster,” he said. “At 6-5 and 6-6, I waited for my third attempt to clear it. It was just the competitive side in me. I had to get it.”
With his 6-6 jump, Branstetter remained in the race for the state title as he was one of two athletes remaining in the event. In the end, Branstetter finished second behind Jonathan Alder’s Joey Walker, who won the event with a 6-8 jump.
“I’m disappointed in myself, but I really can’t be,” said Branstetter. “I am still very happy.”
Branstetter and Walker are certainly no strangers to each other.
Last week at Lexington Regional, Branstetter got the better of Walker, winning the regional title by a 6-6 jump. At the regionals, Walker saw it took Branstetter three tries to clear 6-4, so he jumped 6-5 and went for 6-6. That strategy backfired on Walker, as Branstetter broke the bar on his first down, while Walker failed to clear on his three downs.
On Saturday Walker applied the same strategy but got the desired result this time around. After both athletes cleared 6-6, Walker and Branstetter agreed to jump 6-7 and compete at 6-8.
“I knew what he was doing,” Branstetter said. “He wanted it. But I’m happy for him.
After Branstetter missed his first down at 6-8, Jonathan Alder’s junior broke the bar on his first down, setting a new PR. Branstetter had two more tries, but failed to cross the bar, earning him second place.
“We jumped the heights and I was so close,” said Branstetter. “I just had to hold my hips about a tenth of a second longer and I would have had it. Even so, I would have finished second anyway. I just would have loved to have him at the same height. He cleared beforehand. and I have crossed better bars than I have, but it’s just an amazing experience and I will remember it for the rest of my life.
Before 6-5, Branstetter cleared 6-0 on his first attempt, 6-2 on his second try and 6-4 on his first attempt. He clinched the All-Ohio and a podium spot clearing 6-4.
Branstetter State’s second place crowns an impressive season for the senior. In addition to winning the regional title in the event, he won the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference title. He was also a finalist for the District of Ontario.
“There is no going back,” he said. “You can’t be mad at yourself, it won’t work. Especially if you’re not even going to run on the track anymore, you just have to be happy with what you did and the way you played. . I’m happy with myself. ”
Clear Fork’s Conrad 11th in shot put
Prior to the start of the playoffs, Bekah Conrad’s goal was to make it to the regional women’s shot put meet.
So when junior Clear Fork won an all-around bid for the State Tournament, it was a big step she didn’t necessarily expect to take this season.
On Saturday, Conrad made his state debut placing 11th in the event with a 37-7 throw. She may not have lived up to her standards, but she was happy to compete in the state.
“It wasn’t my best, but it’s so cool I did it to declare,” Conrad said. “… It was a great opportunity and I’m happy to have been able to go and declare and gain the experience. I hope next year will be better for me.
Trio of sophomores grateful for the experience
Saturday didn’t go the way sophomore runners Kayla Gonzales, Brie Trumpower or Huck Finnegan would have liked.
The trio made their state debut on Saturday, each finishing in the bottom half of the field in their respective events.
Nevertheless, all three were happy to have got their feet wet in the biggest competition of the season.
Gonzales de Shelby placed 14th in the women’s 1,600-meter race in 5: 27.41.
“It was a really good experience,” said Gonzales. “I think next year I’ll be better prepared. The competition was a little harder than I thought. I knew it was going to be fast, but everyone came out super fast. … But I mean , I gave everything I had. ”
Ontarian Trumpower was also 14th on the day, as she crossed the finish line in the women’s 800m in 2: 24.47.
“It was a great experience,” Trumpower said. “I was really happy to do it. It’s not my best event, but it is what it is. I’m just very happy to be here and to race against some incredible competition. disappointed with my time, but it’s been a crazy year so I’m just glad I did.
Shelby’s Finnegan placed 15th in the boys’ 3,200 in 10: 22.34.
“It’s definitely a learning experience to race against these guys in second year,” said Finnegan. “… It was a great experience and it will give me fuel for track and cross country next season.”
In the team standings, Oakwood won the girls’ title with 53 points over second place Buchtel (39). On the boys’ side, Woodridge edged Glenville 43-42.5 to win the state title.
Contact William at [email protected] On Twitter: @BillKosileski.