Grove City Christian School senior Calista Manns leaves the Eagles as their most prolific track and field athlete.

She's also leaving as a two-time state champion.

After qualifying for the Division III state meet in each of the previous three seasons but falling short of a title, Manns stood atop the awards podium twice in her final prep meet.

"This means a lot to me because I really came so far mentally this year," she said. "This is definitely mentally been my strongest year, which has translated to excelling in multiple events."

Manns opened the running finals June 1 at Ohio State by winning the 100 hurdles in 14.39 seconds, edging Mount Gilead's Allison Johnson (14.77).

After accepting the first of her three awards on the day, Manns finished second in the 100 (12.43) behind Malvern's Zoe Moser (12.38).

Manns then capped her prep career by winning the 300 hurdles (43.37), edging Sugarcreek Garaway's Carly Jacobs (43.38) at the finish line.

"I told myself it's my last race of my high school career and that could possibly be the last long hurdles race I'll have to do," Manns said. "It's very emotional for me. I had to hold back tears at the finish line. I took pride in myself in this event this year. This is more than I could have imagined."

Manns, who will compete at the University of Cincinnati, leaves Grove City Christian with individual program records in the 100 hurdles (13.99), 300 hurdles (43.47), 100 (12.06), 200 (25.94), long jump (16 feet-1 3/4 inches) and high jump (5-0).

"She is such a perfectionist," coach Mindy Bankey said. "She came in and she wanted to beat that (state-meet) record time (in the 100 hurdles). What an incredible day she had. She's truly a dedicated athlete, a true champion."

The Division III state-meet record in the 100 hurdles was set by Mansfield St. Peter's Alysse Wade (14.07) last season when she edged Manns (14.13) for the title.

Manns' top time of 13.99 in the event is the Division III state record, set in the regional that concluded May 24 at Fairfield Union.

"We have a lot of great talent and Calista has had such a huge impact on our program," Bankey said. "The kids want to be just like her, so they're coming in each day and working. She's taught them different things throughout the year; some specialties that some of us don't fully understand. She's really given them a drive to push harder and be their best. It's been a fantastic ride."

Manns, who was the girls team's only senior, and junior Morgan Iverson accounted for the Eagles' 31 points at state. They finished fourth behind champion West Liberty-Salem (50) as 69 teams scored.

Iverson finished sixth in the pole vault (11-0) in her third state meet. She finished seventh (10-6) last season and did not record a height as a freshman.

"I can't really complain (about the season)," Iverson said. "I had a lifetime personal record (and program record) of 11-9 this year. I was pretty consistent in the postseason and the last half of the year, so I'm pretty proud of how I did this season."

At regional, Manns won the 100 hurdles in the state-record time along with the 100 (12.06) and 300 hurdles in a regional-record 44.31, while Iverson finished second in the pole vault (11-6).

Manns also won titles in the 100 hurdles (14.03), 100 (12.11) and 300 hurdles (44.97) in the district 2 meet, which concluded May 18 at Watkins Memorial.

Iverson won the pole vault (11-6) at district.

The boys team closed its season in the district 2 meet.

The 400 relay of seniors Brandon Rex, Zion-Christopher Jackson and Jacob Stoneking and freshman Jaylin Walker finished second (45.8) to advance to regional. However, the four opted not to compete at regional because of a scheduling conflict with the school's senior trip.

Rex also finished fifth in the 100 (11.78) at district.

Athletics director leaving for Batavia

Matt Blandin has some fond memories of his tenure as the school's athletics director.

Blandin, who replaced Lisa Howard in March 2015, will step down in July to take the same position at Batavia.

"It's a bittersweet thing because we've built some relationships here and there have been a lot of good things that have happened and there are a lot of good things that are continuing to happen," Blandin said. "There are a lot of systems in place now that whoever comes in after me, they'll have a good foundation to build upon."

Batavia, which is about 25 miles east of Cincinnati, competes in Division IV in football and mostly in Division II in other sports.

Grove City Christian is a Division VII program in football, and its other teams are in Division III and Division IV.

"It was a tough decision, but it's a good opportunity," Blandin said. "I'm excited about moving on, but at the same time, we have lot of good things going on here."

Before starting at Grove City Christian, Blandin was the athletics director at Elyria Open Door Christian in northeast Ohio for four years.

Blandin, 40, is a 1997 graduate of Millbury Lake in northwest Ohio and a 2001 graduate of Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. He was an offensive lineman at both schools.

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