Relatively speaking, Nicey Bauman of the Olentangy High School girls track and field team wasn't crushed about being runner-up in the 300-meter hurdles at the Division I state meet June 7 at Ohio State.
The winner was one of Bauman's good friends, Jocselyn Powell of Canal Winchester, who also had won the 100 hurdles title earlier in the day.
But Bauman -- a Georgia Tech signee who also was state runner-up last year -- was upset about her time. She ran the race in 42.22 seconds, a shade behind Powell in 42.08 and slightly faster than the 42.8 that Bauman recorded in the preliminary June 6. That was the top time entering the final and was 1.24 seconds faster than the next-best mark, set by Ellie Wiedeman of Springboro.
Bauman and Powell were virtually even entering the final stretch, but Powell gradually extended her lead late.
"It was one of my better races, but I ran (about) the same time that I did (in the preliminaries), so I was a little bummed by that. I wanted to beat that in the final," Bauman said. "I'm happy to finish second in my last high school race. It's still special. I just wish I would've started stronger. The first 100 wasn't so good, but I was happy with my finish."
Powell, who will run at Kennesaw State, trimmed more than two seconds off her preliminary time of 44.2. She won the 100 hurdles in 13.98, well ahead of runner-up Arbria Williams (14.5) of Cincinnati Withrow.
Bauman's finish gave Olentangy eight points, tying the Braves for 25th behind champion Solon (47) as 77 teams scored. The Comets won their second consecutive state title, edging runner-up Pickerington Central by a point.
No Olentangy boys competed at state.
Bauman also anchored the 800 relay that placed 15th (1:44.52), falling short of the final. The top two placers in each heat plus the next five fastest competitors advanced.
Emily Ginter led off the relay, followed by Maddy Bull and Erin Wilt.
The Braves advanced to state despite being seeded seventh of eight teams in the regional final. In that race, they ran a school-record 1:43.06.
At state, Olentangy was one spot ahead of OCC-Capital Division rival New Albany, which was 16th in 1:45.15. The Eagles ran that race without usual anchor Karrington Winters, the two-time defending 400 state champion who later missed the 400 final because of an injury to her left hamstring.
"We decided on this order at the OCC meet and we kept it because it seemed to work out well. We're all sprinters so we can put anybody anywhere and make it work," Bull said. "We knew we'd make it through district, and that was our goal. If we did that, we'd consider ourselves successful. But after regional prelims, we looked at each other and said we had a shot at (state) so let's see how far we can go. It's great to see how far we came."
Boys 3,200 relay leads Liberty at state
Liberty's boys 3,200 relay dropped almost three seconds from its regional championship time to the state final June 6, but wasn't in title contention thanks to a state-record effort from Cincinnati St. Xavier.
The Patriots were in 15th place after the first leg, 10th after the second and eighth after three before placing fifth in 7:47.62. St. Xavier won in a Division I state record and state-meet record 7:36.33, 7.31 seconds ahead of runner-up Norwalk.
"We knew it'd take a ridiculous time to be in (the race)," said Andrew Johnston, the relay's second leg behind Brad Wiemels and ahead of Mitchell Towne and Josh Wojciechowski. "Our approach was going to be to get out in a good position and hold it."
Wojciechowski got as high as second early in his anchor leg, but the race was never in doubt.
"I think Mitchell was the game-changer," Wojciechowski said. "Andrew fought us a little higher than we'd been. We were 10th (when Towne) got the baton, and all of a sudden the next time I looked up Mitchell was battling for fifth and sixth. He ran a very impressive leg."
Johnston and Wojciechowski also competed June 7. Wojciechowski was sixth in the 1,600 (4:14.2) and Johnston was 10th in the 3,200 (9:24.9).
Wojciechowski's race was particularly tight. Fifth-place Luke Wagner of Cleveland St. Ignatius finished in 4:14.06 and Xenia's Daniel Michalski was seventh in 4:14.22.
"What can you be mad about?" said Wojciechowski, who will compete for Arkansas State. "Three of us crossed the line within a fifth of a second of each other. That's how close it was. I didn't feel like there was much room for movement."
Johnston, who was eighth in the 3,200 last year and will run at Air Force, wasn't as pleased with his individual finish.
"I'm not happy with this at all," he said. "We went out really fast over the first mile and from there I kind of gave up. I know I had more in me. I just wasn't mentally into it."
Liberty scored seven points and tied for 32nd behind champion Cleveland Glenville (40) as 71 teams scored.
Claire Wiles of the girls team was seventh in the 1,600 (5:03.27). She earned the Patriots two points and a tie for 59th.
"I went a little slower than expected, especially after going 5:00.93 (at regional, where she placed second). My goal was to break 5 (minutes)," Wiles said. "Last year was my first time at state and I didn't have as high expectations (and finished fifth in 5:03.53). I might have put more pressure on myself this year."