Moments after finishing second in the 100-meter hurdles in the Division III state track and field meet June 2 at Ohio State, Grove City Christian School junior Calista Manns already was thinking about next season.
Manns, who was competing in her third state meet, wants to win her first state championship a year from now.
She came close to achieving that feat this season, finishing the 100 hurdles in 14.13 seconds and just behind Alysse Wade (14.07) of Mansfield St. Peter's.
Wade's effort was a Division III state record, while Manns' performance again bettered her program record. Manns also finished second behind Wade last season, as she ran 14.7 and Wade turned in a 14.46.
"I just have to remember to stay confident (and) don't doubt myself," Manns said. "No matter how far my goals may seem to be away from me, I just need to be confident and it will deliver."
Minutes after competing in the 100 hurdles, Manns finished ninth in the 100 (12.57) as Wade earned her second title (12.13).
"I'm really happy," said Manns, who also finished 15th in the 300 hurdles (47.42). "Going into this week, I was just really excited to get another chance against competition on the track and really looking forward to getting a (personal record) and I did, so I would say it was a successful day."
Last season, Manns also finished seventh in the 100 (12.72) and 300 hurdles (46.12). As a freshman, she was fifth in the 100 hurdles (15.37).
"With Calista, she is so determined that she wants to be that No. 1, she wants to be the best, and that is what she shows in the work ethic and her mental preparation," coach Mindy Bankey said. "She wants to be No. 1 and she works hard to get there. That was an awesome (100 hurdles) race and I thought she had it. It just gives her that much more fire for next year."
Sophomore Morgan Iverson competed in her second state meet, finishing seventh in the pole vault while establishing a program record of 10 feet, 6 inches.
"I'm so happy," Iverson said. "My mental game is so much different. I have the confidence in myself that I can do it and I knew what to expect coming here and I just enjoyed it. I wasn't as stressed or nervous as I was last year and I just knew what I could do."
Last season at state, Iverson did not clear the opening of height of 9-6 on all three attempts.
"She's a great kid," said pole vault coach Scott Iverson, who is Morgan's father. "I couldn't ask for a better daughter or a better athlete. She's the hardest worker I know. She's going to be training this summer and the sky is the limit for her."
Manns and Iverson gave the Eagles 10 points and a tie for 23rd behind champion Minster (57) as 62 teams scored.
In the regional meet May 23 and 25 at Fairfield Union, Iverson was fourth in the pole vault (10-3) and Manns finished third in the 100 (12.56) and 100 hurdles (14.49) and sixth in the 300 hurdles (46.76) to advance in all three.
The top four finishers in each event advanced to state. Also, for the first time, two at-large state berths were awarded for each running event based on times statewide.
Dalina Phomphengchane, who was the girls team's only senior, competed in her first regional and finished 13th in the 100 (13.62).
Grove City Christian finished 10th (20) behind champion Mount Gilead (62) as 50 teams scored.
In the district 1 meet that concluded May 19 at Watkins Memorial, the Eagles finished fifth (59) of 16 teams behind champion Grandview (89) as Manns won the 100 hurdles, 100 (12.72) and high jump (5-0) and Iverson was second in the pole vault (9-4).
In the MSL-Cardinal Division meet May 8 and 11, Grove City Christian scored 108 points to finish behind host Berne Union (154), Fisher Catholic (141) and Fairfield Christian (129) and ahead of Millersport (89), Harvest Prep (11) and Zanesville Rosecrans (6).
Manns won the 100 (12.81), 100 hurdles (14.85), 300 hurdles (48.64) and high jump (4-8) and Iverson won the pole vault (9-6).
Finishing second were freshman Abbie McDonald in the discus (86-5) and Phomphengchane in the 100 (13.09).
"I'm very pleased with the season," Bankey said. "We grew a lot. We have a young group of kids. Calista is one of the role models. The kids want to do better because they see the work ethic she puts in."
Baker leads boys track team
Junior Brett Baker led the boys track team, as he qualified for regional in the pole vault but was unable to compete after injuring his hamstring during warmups.
Baker won the pole vault (12-0) in the district 1 meet after missing most of last season with a groin injury.
Grove City Christian finished 13th (13) of 16 teams at district behind champion Worthington Christian (135).
In the league meet, the Eagles scored 58 points to finish behind Berne Union (174), Fisher Catholic (158.5) and Millersport (93.5) and ahead of Harvest Prep (57), Rosecrans (54) and Fairfield Christian (23).
Baker finished second in the pole vault (11-6), junior Jacob Stoneking was third in the discus (105-10) and senior Winston Linville was fourth in the 400 (55.88).