Hoerlein represented well. His personal best launch of 22 feet, 11.5 inches was good for third.
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The only running final on Friday was the girls and boys 4x800-meter relay in all three divisions. All the other Friday racing was to qualify for Saturday’s finals.
All of the D-III field events were contested on Friday and half the D-II events. All of the D-I field events were scheduled for Saturday.
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Hoerlein experienced a tremendous growth spurt, shooting from 5 feet 9 as a freshman to 6-4 as a senior. That stretch also coincided with new-found hops. He didn’t start long jumping seriously until last year.
“It was about midseason when I went 22-5 at Winton Woods,” he recalled. “I thought, I can go to state this year. I kept working on it from there.”
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He also nearly launched himself out of the landing pit and was fortunate not to have hurt himself. He brushed a side retaining board while landing nearly out of the pit.
“I put my foot down to plant and my ankle slipped to the right,” he said. “I almost went out; it was super close. I was a bit scared of hitting my head on the side.”
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• Lakota East was in position to be super-charged by senior distance standout Dustin Horter and sophomore sprinter Serena Clark.
Horter is the defending D-I state champ in the 1,600. He’s enters with the state’s best clocking and burned a 4:08.38 in winning as a junior. He also is entered in the 3,200, but will face fresh competition from a deep field, including returning state runner-up Matt Scrape of Pickerington Central (9:00.87).
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As expected, Clark advanced in the 100 (11.72) and 200 (24.33). However, she’ll be hard pressed to overcome Dublin Coffman senior Abby Steiner, who reset her all-time meet and stadium records in the 100 (11.47) and 200 (23.17).
Clark also anchored East to the best final qualifying time in the 4x100 relay (47.47).
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• Fairfield senior Tyra Kennedy should be a contender in the 100 hurdles. She qualified fourth (14.40).
• Middletown junior Conant Smith also should contend in the D-I 3,200.