Ann Heuerman of the Upper Arlington High School girls track and field team went into the Division I state meet held June 6 and 7 at Ohio State with eyes wide open.
A two-time state qualifier in cross country, the sophomore was seeded 12th of the 16 competitors in the 3,200 meters. She improved on that seeding, as she finished 11th in 11 minutes, 13.79 seconds.
Springboro’s Aundrea Busse won the event in 10:43.3.
“I knew there would be a lot of fast girls, probably the greatest competition I’ve run against,” Heuerman said. “I knew last year there was great competition and this year, based on times, there was even tougher competition, so I knew what I was coming into.”
Last year at state in the 3,200, then-junior Dorrian Jaffe finished 16th (11:59.97).
“This is definitely something I want to do again,” Heuerman said.
Heuerman, who won the 3,200 (11:11.09) in the 18-team district 2 meet that concluded May 24 at Hilliard Darby and placed fourth (11:04.53) in the regional meet held May 28 and 30 at Pickerington North, was the Golden Bears’ only state qualifier.
UA did not score at state. Solon won the team championship (47 points) as 77 teams scored.
Heuerman’s performance capped a season in which the Bears won two meets during the regular season and had top-five finishes in the OCC-Central Division meet and district meet.
UA won the 10-team Fulton Relays on April 25 at Lancaster, scoring 99 points to finish well ahead of runner-up Dublin Scioto (75), and scored 94 points to tie Toledo Whitmer for first in the 10-team Chieftain Relays on April 17 at Bellefontaine.
Heuerman won the 1,600 (11:05.31) and the 1,600 relay finished first (4:08.01) in the OCC-Central meet held May 15 and 17, as UA finished fourth (88.5) behind Hilliard Davidson (165), Thomas Worthington (128) and Olentangy Liberty (100) and ahead of Dublin Coffman (86.5), Central Crossing (55), Marysville (28) and Westland (8).
Heuerman’s title in the 3,200 led to UA to a fifth-place finish (58) at district behind champion Gahanna (150). The Bears scored eight points at regional to tie Hilliard Bradley for 25th behind champion Pickerington Central (75) as 41 teams scored.
In addition to Heuerman, competing at regional were junior Emily Jones in the pole vault (sixth, 10 feet, 6 inches), junior Sarah Shroyer in the 400 (10th, 1:00.53), senior D’Nae Reese in the shot put (10th, 35-4) and discus (11th, 103-4), the 3,200 relay of junior Megan Brewer, Shroyer, Dorrian Jaffe and junior Hannah Peale (10th, 9:46.64) and the 1,600 relay of senior Betsy Trace, Shroyer, sophomore Collette Young and Peale (12th, 4:09.84).
The top four finishers in each regional event advanced to state.
“What stands out the most from the girls that I coached this season is the consistency of Ann Heuerman and Sarah Shroyer,” coach Latisha Wilder said. “Each proved to be consistent competitors throughout the season. We all know what to expect from these two girls when they step to the starting line.”
Jones, a three-time state qualifier in gymnastics, was a first-year pole vaulter.
Campbell expected to return for boys
The boys team expects to return its top two postseason finishers in junior Liam Campbell and sophomore Nicholas Gill.
In the 17-team district 2 meet, Campbell placed fifth in the pole vault (12-0) and Gill finished sixth in the 800 (2:01.41).
Other key athletes expected back include junior Gabe Akins, who placed fourth in the 400 (51.55) in the OCC-Central meet and joined Gill, sophomore Ian Hamilton and junior Payton Warner on the 3,200 relay that was fourth (8:22.39); sophomore Zachary Schmitz, who placed fifth in the league in the 110 hurdles (16.83); and junior Caleb Wilt, who finished fifth in the league in the shot put (43-8 1/4).
“Our boys middle distance runners are developing, and we look forward to having a more competitive team in 2015 … if (they) all return and everyone is healthy,” said Wilder, who works with distance runners on both teams.
UA finished eighth (35.25) in the OCC-Central meet behind Davidson (176.25),
Liberty (120), Thomas (87.25), Coffman (83), Marysville (69.25), Central Crossing (46) and Westland (41) and finished 14th (7) at district behind champion Watkins Memorial (108).
The Bears did not have any state or regional qualifiers.