Makiya Montgomery and Calista Manns had just about enough of taking second places in the state track and field championships, and they did something about it June 1.
Montgomery, a Beechcroft High School junior, swept the 100 meters (11.97 seconds) and 200 (24.12) in the Division II girls meet at Ohio State, just a year after finishing second to record-setting Mia Knight of Beachwood in both events. Montgomery had won the 100 as a freshman.
“I won’t lie: Second wasn’t a good feeling,” she said. “That gave me a lot of motivation coming into this season. I reflected a lot about all the hard work I did to get here and how I didn’t want to let down all the people who supported me. I really felt that this was meant for me, and that’s what makes it so exciting.”
Montgomery also anchored her 800 relay to third, giving Beechcroft 26 points and a tie for fourth.
Manns, a runner-up twice in the 100 hurdles, finished her career in a blaze of glory in the Division III meet. The Grove City Christian senior won the 100 hurdles (14.39) and 300 hurdles (43.37) and took second in the 100 (12.43). She won the longer hurdles race by one-hundredth of a second.
Her performance nearly single-handedly lifted Grove City Christian to fourth place with 31 points.
“Deep down, I knew I won it,” she said. “I think I outleaned her. I kind of surprised myself in this event. I came out and PR’d in my final high school race.
“Honestly, I’m not that excited about my time, but ultimately the main objective was to win it. In the 100, I got out a little slow and couldn’t quite catch up.”
Allison Johnson of Mount Gilead scratched out of two of her events (400 and pole vault) before winning the 800 (2:10.53), and she finished second to Manns in the 100 hurdles (14.77).
“My coach and I decided that if I was going to try to win the 800 and go for a state record (2:09.77), I had to make some sacrifices,” the sophomore said. “It was worth it. It’s such an amazing feeling to be a state champion.”
In the Division I meet, Gahanna was unable to repeat, settling for third behind Liberty Township Lakota East (65) and Mentor (41). Although the Lions won the meet-ending 1,600 relay (3:46.2), Mentor scratched out second in the race to edge Gahanna by one point for the runner-up trophy.
Gahanna senior Madison Martinez, who anchored the relay that included Joi Bradley, Alexis Thigpen and Shynae Deas, said, “It was a great way to end things out.” In repeating, the quartet notched the No. 5 all-time mark in Ohio.
“What a four-year run it’s been,” said Martinez, a Villanova signee who also took second in the 800 and with the 3,200 relay. “I’m about to cry.”
Central Ohio girls collected three additional titles in the big-school meet.
Folake Olujide-Ajibade of Dublin Scioto won the 100 hurdles (14.31).
“This is a moment I’ve always dreamed off,” she said. “I didn’t get a great start, but I feel like I’m a pretty good closer, and I needed it today.”
Mabinty Kebe of Westerville Central edged out Olujide-Ajibade to win the 300 hurdles (42.9).
“I’ve been going against her all year, and we’ve had some tight battles in the postseason, so I thought it might come down to her and me,” Kebe said. “I put a lot of mental preparation into just making it here. I’m just completely overwhelmed to win.”
Jaydan Wood of Pickerington Central repeated as champion in the 400 (53.4), lowering her 2018 time significantly. Wood will compete at Ohio State.
“I took the race out really strong because that’s how I run,” Wood said. “I thought I was in control the whole way, but when the crowd starts cheering, you never know if somebody’s coming up behind me.”
Area girls finished the meet with 10 firsts, eight seconds and nine thirds.