Moments after Columbus Academy's 1,600-meter relay qualified for the final in the Division III state boys track and field meet June 2 at Ohio State, Tommy Mampieri sent a text to someone he thought deserved credit.

Mampieri, a senior who ran the lead leg, contacted Lori Baldwin, who was stationed in the infield.

The next day, the Vikings finished fifth in the final in 3 minutes, 24.9 seconds.

Baldwin runs track clinics for athletes throughout the state, and Mampieri joined the free program in the offseason. He credits her for his progress in the sport, including his career-best eighth-place finish in the 300 hurdles (43.01) in the regional meet May 27 at Fairfield Union.

"I would not be here without her," Mampieri said. "I made it to the regional final this year in hurdles. I didn't even make it to regional the year before. This was all because of her and working with her every Sunday in the offseason. She was very influential on my performance. ... I've never met a person as selfless as her. She is so talented and she has so many gifts. She's an amazing person."

Baldwin has offered clinics to athletes since 2003 and was joined three years ago by Hilliard Davidson boys track coach Jim Smith. They are engaged to be married.

"I appreciate that these kids want to work," Baldwin said. "In today's day and age of these young kids, sometimes they don't have the motivation. The kids that come and work and practice with me all work hard and give me everything they have. It's really impressive and the great thing about it is their hard work pays off, which is something I stress, and it happens at the end of the year."

The clinics are held year-round on Wednesdays and Sundays. They originally were held mainly at Davidson, but since the Wildcats' field is under renovation with new turf being installed, they are rotating sites this summer.

During the winter, the clinics are moved inside, with Oak Creek Pole Vault Training Center in Sunbury a popular destination.

Baldwin said they work with about 25 to 30 athletes a year. The main goals are promoting the sport while also pushing their athletes to improve.

Parents have offered to pay a fee, but are always declined, Baldwin said.

She and Smith are annual fixtures on the infield at state, roaming from event to event to watch their athletes compete.

They specialize in the hurdles and jumps, but instruct athletes on a variety of events.

"It's an excellent feeling when these athletes come up to us and they've been successful or even when something has gone wrong," Smith said. "They understand it. It's a good feeling when they are successful and they come up and say thank you."

For recent Westerville South graduate Brielle Collier, she credits Baldwin for her continued progress in the hurdles. Collier finished fourth in the 300 hurdles (43.45) and fifth in the 100 hurdles (program-record 14.41) in the Division I state meet.

Without the clinics, Collier said she wouldn't be getting ready to compete at Kent State.

"I love it here," she said. "It definitely helped me out. Lori specializes in coaching the hurdles. The best competition is here, so you can't really get that anywhere else."

Baldwin and Smith also instruct Grove City Christian's Calista Manns, who recently completed her sophomore season with her second Division III state appearance. She finished second in the 100 hurdles (14.7) and seventh in the 100 (12.72) and 300 hurdles (46.12).

Other students include New Concord John Glenn's Karlie Zumbro, who finished third in the 300 hurdles (43.43) and eighth in the 100 hurdles (15.04) in the Division II state meet, and West Lafayette Ridgewood's Alexis Prater, who was sixth in the 100 hurdles (14.81) and long jump (17 feet, 9 inches) in Division II.

Baldwin was an assistant coach at Columbus School for Girls for 10 years before serving as head coach in 2011 and 2012. She was an assistant men's sprints and hurdles coach at Ohio State from 2007-10 and is a 1988 graduate of Lodi Cloverleaf, where she competed in track, cross country and basketball.

Before teaming up with Baldwin, Smith instructed his Davidson athletes during the offseason. He recently completed his 30th season at Davidson.

He said the clinics are "strictly voluntary," but the athletes know what's expected of them.

"We don't tell them they have to be there," Smith said. "The kids who want to get better, they'll come and they know what it takes to work hard and they understand that through the competitiveness of the group that's there that they're going to get better."

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