Koffi Edah of the Grove City High School boys track and field team took a few glances at the stadium scoreboard with equal parts disgust and disbelief.
Edah had just placed 16th (40.36 seconds) of 16 competitors in the boys 300-meter hurdles in the Division I state meet June 6 at Ohio State, and couldn't figure out exactly how that happened.
"At the start of the race, I was not nervous. I was confident," said Edah, a junior competing in his first state meet. "But after I hit the first or second hurdle, I don't know what happened. I just blanked out. I wasn't very focused. It's my first time at state and all that. Maybe the nerves got me a little bit. I certainly thought I would do better than that."
Edah was the district 2 champion and in the regional final May 30 at Pickerington North, he ran a personal-best 38.98 to place third as the top four finishers advanced to state.
The top two placers in each heat and the next five fastest competitors advanced to the state final June 7, which was won by Lakewood St. Edward's Steele Wasik (36.31).
Edah was Grove City's only competitor at state. The Greyhounds did not register a team score, and Cleveland Glenville (40) won the championship as 71 teams scored.
"I hoped I'd break the school record of 38.6. I ran a 38.9 to qualify for state, so I was optimistic," Edah said. "I felt like I had a little bit more to give (June 6). I guess it wasn't meant to be with this race."
Comets' Manivanh competes in long jump
Making her first appearance in the Division I state meet, Central Crossing's Taylor Manivanh fouled on all three of her attempts in the long jump and placed 16th of 16 competitors June 7.
"I was really excited at first, but I'm just disappointed," said Manivanh, a sophomore. "It was pretty shocking (being at state) because it's my first year in the long jump and I didn't expect to get this far. I was coming here all week to practice, but I guess I just didn't get in the right place (June 7)."
Manivanh was seeded 11th in the event, coming off her regional championship effort of 17 feet, 5 inches.
Cincinnati Ursuline Academy's Cayla Carey won the long jump title (18-7 1/4).
Manivanh was the Comets' only representative at state. The team did not score.
Solon won the girls championship with 47 points, one point ahead of runner-up Pickerington Central as 77 teams scored.