Girls Track & Field
Daniels again wins discus, shot put titles
No sooner had senior Katelyn Daniels of the Olentangy Orange High School girls track and field team celebrated defending her title in the discus during the Division I state meet held June 7 and 8 at Ohio State than she had to turn her attention to defending her title in the shot put.
"This is the most competitive girls (shot put) field in the entire nation," Daniels said when asked what to expect. "I really don't know how it will go. Hopefully I will (set a personal record), and that will be enough. But nothing is guaranteed."
She did record a new personal-best distance, and it was enough to make the field not so competitive.
On the heels of winning the discus in a personal-record 161 feet, 7 inches to finish well ahead of runner-up Kaylee Antill of Dresden Tri-Valley (148-4), Daniels threw a state-record 51-2 to easily win the shot put.
The previous mark of 50-10 was set by Ashley Muffet of North Canton Hoover in 2005.
"It's like the most surreal feeling. It's really incredible," said Daniels, a Michigan State University signee. "I was most confident in the shot (put) and wasn't really surprised as much as relieved. I knew I had the big throw in me and I really wanted to do this."
Dublin Coffman's Sade Olatoye (44-10) was runner-up in the shot put.
Orange throwing coach Dave Simpson told Daniels before the discus that he thought she had a 160-foot throw in her, and it turned out that Daniels had two. She started with a 130-8, followed by 155-6, 153-9 and 143-2 and 160-1 before hitting 161-7 on her final attempt.
Daniels' previous best throw in the discus was 151-3, which she set when she won the event in the regional meet held May 29 and 31 at Pickerington North. She won the state title last year with a throw of 140-0.
"I don't know how he predicted it, "Daniels said. "He just knows me that well."
Daniels' first throw in the shot put was 48-1. After a foul, she made her record-breaking throw on her third attempt before fouling again. She then threw 47-5 1/4 before another foul on her final attempt.
Her previous best throw also had been set a week earlier at regional when she won the event in 48-4 3/4. She won the state title last year in 47-4 1/2.
Other local athletes at state were Olentangy junior Nicey Bauman, who placed second in the 300-meter hurdles (43.56 seconds) and third in the 100 hurdles (14.97); Liberty sophomore Claire Wiles, who placed fifth in the 1,600 (5:03.53); Olentangy sophomore Emily Ginter, who finished 10th in the high jump (5-2); and Liberty's 3,200 relay of Wiles, freshman Claire Linn and seniors Kylie Spring and Sarah Miller, which finished 15th (9:36.54).
Daniels' two titles scored 20 points for Orange, which placed fifth behind champion Solon (47) as 74 teams scored. Olentangy (14) tied New Albany for 16th and Liberty (4) tied Canton GlenOak, Tipp City Tippecanoe, Uniontown Lake and Zanesville for 49th.
Bauman finished behind Chantel Richardson of Chesterland West Geauga (14.34) and Canal Winchester's Jocselyn Powell (14.52) in the 100 hurdles and behind Taylor McDonald of Macedonia Nordonia (42.3) in the 300 hurdles.
Bauman said she stopped short of choking up while standing on the awards podium, looking directly into the bleachers where she had sat a year earlier distraught over not qualifying for state.
"I'm already thrilled to see how far I can go next year. I certainly didn't expect this, this year," she said. "I dropped a second and a half in the 100 this year and two seconds in the 300. But getting to this point is what pushed me during summer track. It's what pushed me during workouts in November. It's such a thrill."
Wiles, who finished 12.3 seconds behind champion Sydney Leiher of Beavercreek in the 1,600, was Liberty's first individual state qualifier since 2008, when Kelsey Couts placed second in the high jump (5-8) and Jade Riebold tied Wapakoneta's Hannah Tabler for sixth in the pole vault (11-4).
Couts and Riebold graduated in 2009.
Ginter, who was making her second state appearance, cleared 5-0 and 5-2 in the high jump but missed at 5-4. Her best jump at state last year also was 5-2, when she placed seventh.