Track & Field
Kilbourne's Hill makes mark running laps
The season has gone swimmingly thus far for Taylor Hill.
The senior sprinter and long-jumper for the Worthington Kilbourne High School girls track and field team is right where she wants to be as she aims for a second consecutive all-state performance.
But in her younger days, Hill made her mark swimming laps instead of running them.
"I have relatives who still wonder why I gave up swimming because I was pretty good at it," said Hill, who finished second in the 400 meters (59.24 seconds) on April 20 in the Dublin Classic at Coffman. "I kind of got tired of (swimming), and I really loved track. I played softball and liked that, but it's tough to do both in the same season."
Hill placed seventh in the 400 (57.24) in the Division I state meet last spring. The top eight finishers earn all-state honors.
She started this season by breaking the meet record in the 400 (58.65) in the Icebreaker Invitational on March 30 at Watkins Memorial.
"I'm right where I should be right now and my times are better than they were at this point last year," said Hill, who also finished third in the long jump (15 feet, 2 1/2 inches) in the Dublin Classic. "It's not where I need to be, but it's good for this point in the season."
Hill said she has her eye on breaking the program record of 55.9 in the 400, which is held by 2002 graduate Crystal Winfrey. Hill's best is 56.7.
"I ran indoor track and that helps to get me ready for the (spring) season," Hill said. "Indoor (track) helps a lot to get me in shape and that should help me in trying to break the record. I run indoor track to get ready for the season both physically and to find out who will be the top people I will be going up against this season."
Hill said swimming and track are complementary sports because both focus on individual performance and the mental side of preparing to compete.
"You have to get over thinking about the 'I can'ts' and just go out and do it," she said. "Sure, track can be a team sport, especially with my (400 relay) and (800 relay) girls, but it's mainly an individual sport. You have to look at your obstacles and try to overcome them."
Coach Chip Seely said Hill leads the Wolves by example, but also has become more vocal as a senior.
"Taylor has a really good work ethic and she is really motivated," he said. "She led us in scoring last year and probably will do that again this year. She's a good student and will do well running at (the University of) Cincinnati."
Hill has a 3.45 GPA and plans to major in industrial design while being a scholarship runner for the Bearcats.
"It's still pretty mind-blowing for me that I will be running track in college because it's something that I never thought I would do," said Hill, the daughter of James and Sharita Hill.
"When I visited Cincinnati, my future coach (assistant coach for sprints Chris Wineberg) said that running in college would be a wake-up call. Just like when you go from middle school to high school, going up to the next level will be that much more difficult, but I'm excited about the challenge."
The Wolves tied Dublin Jerome for 11th (22 points) in the 14-team Dublin Classic behind champion Brunswick (104.5). Senior Paige Martinski finished fourth in the pole vault (9-0).