Karrington Winters doesn't know exactly where she heard the criticism, but she heard it.

Karrington Winters doesn't know exactly where she heard the criticism, but she heard it.

After winning her third Division I state championship in the 400 meters in four years June 6 at Ohio State, the senior on the New Albany High School girls track and field team said her thoughts wandered slightly as she came down the stretch.

"I was a little bit tired, but coming down the stretch I just thought about everything that has been said about me," said Winters, who won in 53.39 seconds, 1.08 seconds ahead of runner-up Frances Bull of Mentor Lake Catholic to retake the championship she won as a freshman and sophomore. "Things like 'she's a fluke' or 'she won't do it.' It drove me. I just appreciate this so much more, doing it my freshman and sophomore years and now coming back and doing this."

Winters, who collapsed because of a hamstring injury during the state preliminaries last year and had to be carried off the field by coach Otis Winston, also was third in the 100 (11.98) and helped the 800 relay to seventh place (1:42.39) with Debi Bhanja, Donissa Edmonds and Haley Lyles.

Winters won the regional championship in 54.68 seconds May 29 at Pickerington North and had the best time among all state qualifiers. She was second (55.51) in the preliminary June 5 behind Bull (54.81).

"Everyone would always want to (win an event) four times, but I'm so grateful and blessed to say three times," Winters said. "I think I appreciated it much more by getting knocked down last year. Seeing some people out there doing the 400, I was like, 'that could have been me.' That's what I thought of. That's what fueled me."

New Albany scored 18 points and tied Olentangy Liberty for 10th behind co-champions Cincinnati Withrow and Gahanna (50) as 65 teams scored.

Winters beamed not only for her own accomplishments, but also for those of her boyfriend, Pickerington North standout Nick Gray. Gray, who like Winters will run at Ohio State, repeated as 400 state champion (46.91), was second in the 200 (21.76) and helped the 1,600 relay win (3:16.39) to seal his school's first team state championship in any sport.

North scored 52 points to finish ahead of runner-up Mason (28) as 76 teams scored.

"I believe in him more than I believe in myself at times, and he believes in me more than he believes in himself at times," Winters said.

New Albany's 1,600 relay of Bhanja, Edmonds, Winters and Jessica Zaper fell short of the final, finishing 12th (3:59.58) in the preliminary June 5.

Zaper replaced the injured Jalyn Austin before regional, as did Lyles in the 800 relay.

Edmonds finished 15th in the 400 (25.69), just short of the personal-best time of 25.54 she set in the district 2 meet May 23 at Hilliard Darby.

Edmonds said she did not set any goals for times at state.

"I try not to think that much about times," she said. "It gets me way too nervous coming out here."

Fenster, White perform well at state

The boys team was represented at state by two first-time qualifiers.

Chris London tied for seventh in the high jump (6 feet, 4 inches) with Lima Senior's Ruben Flowers III. Hilliard Davidson's Jacob Ross won the title by jumping 6-10.

London's finish earned New Albany 1.5 points and 69th place.

Freshman Michael Fenster competed in three wheelchair events June 6, finishing second in the 800 (2:38.73) and third in the 100 (20.7) and 400 (1:16.49). Wooster's Casey Followay won all three events.

Fenster was close to second in the 400 and 100, finishing .08 and .18 of a second, respectively, behind runner-up Randy McMullen of Kent Roosevelt in both races.

"I've just always liked sled hockey and was told that I should try track," Fenster said. "It was fun to see the crowd be into it and it was fun to have a competition. It's definitely competitive here. At the end of the race, it was very tough to beat your opponent."