Fear momentarily came over Jocselyn Powell of the Canal Winchester High School girls track and field team when a lingering ankle injury suddenly flared up minutes before the 100-meter hurdles final in the Division I state meet.
Despite intense pain in her left ankle, the junior placed second in 14.52 seconds, behind Chesterland West Geauga's Chantel Richardson (14.34).
"I was freaking out during warm-ups because the pain in my ankle was a lot worse than it's been in a long time," Powell said. "I was really scared I wasn't going to be able to run well, but I just tried to ignore the pain and my adrenaline got me through the race."
Powell had placed fourth at state in the event in a program-record 14.33 last year.
"I was doing so good, but I had a little bit of trouble on the last three hurdles and couldn't win the race," she said, referring to this year's state performance. "But my main goal was to keep moving up from where I finished last year and I'm really glad I was able to do that. It was fun to end the season on the (awards) podium with a lot of my good friends there with me."
Also competing in the state meet held June 7 and 8 at Ohio State were senior Taylor Smith in the high jump and junior Gretchen Rosch in the pole vault.
Smith tied for seventh in the high jump by clearing 5 feet, 4 inches, as Cincinnati Seton's Loretta Blaut (5-7) won the event.
Smith and Blaut were tied for the top seed at state as both had a qualifying height of 5-8.
"Taylor's been dealing with a back injury and she told me it started hurting at the worst possible time at state," Powell said. "She's my best friend. She's been like a sister to me and I'm so proud of her for making it here and making the podium."
Rosch finished 11th in the pole vault (11-0). Uniontown Green's Morgan Estes won the event in 13-1/4, setting Division I and Division I state meet records.
"It was definitely nerve-racking competing here for the first time and I was swimming in butterflies," Rosch said. "I would have (tied for eighth and) made the podium if I would have gotten 11 feet on my first try, but my nerves got the best of me and I came up shallow.
"This is the fourth time I've tied my school record at 11 feet, but it's the first time that it's taken me more than one attempt to go 11 feet when I have made it. I tried hard to get here and this was an amazing experience. I'm already looking forward to next year."
The Indians scored 9.5 points at state to tie Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit for 30th behind champion Solon (47) as 74 teams scored.
Powell places ninth at state for boys team
Jermil Powell was the only member of the boys track team to compete in teh Division I state meet.
The junior tied for ninth in the high jump (6-4) after clearing 6-6 in the regional meet May 29 and 31 at Pickerington North. Findlay's Tyler Brown won the state title by clearing 6-10 1/4.
Powell did not score at state. Lakewood St. Edward (62) won the team title as 62 teams scored.
"It just wasn't my best day," Powell said. "It was very nerve-racking being here for the first time, but I had some fun with it. My goal is to come back here next year to do better than this."