COLUMBUS — Ansonia senior Samantha Shook and freshman Lydia Sink both finished their seasons on the podium Friday at the Ohio High School Athletic Association state track and field meet.
Shook, a four-time state placer in the pole vault, finished sixth in the Division III girls pole vault by clearing 11 feet 4 inches.
“It was good,” Shook said of her performance as she struggled to hold back tears.
It was emotional to end her high school career, Shook said, a career that saw her make state four times in track and field, three times in gymnastics and two times in cross country. Pole vault was her top event in high school as she finished on the podium in that event all four years of her high school career.
“It’s a really good accomplishment to do that,” the Ansonia senior said. “I’m very pleased with how my high school career went.”
Shook’s pole vaulting career might not be finished as she said she’s considered joining the track and field team at Wright State University, where she plans on pursuing a degree in nursing.
For the first time in her high school track and field career, Shook had a teammate join her at state in Sink. Both girls, under the tutelage of Todd Miller and Jason Hemmelgarn, left Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium with medals.
Sink finished eighth in the Division III girls high jump as she cleared 5 feet 2 inches to match her personal best mark and earn the final spot on the podium.
“I just can’t believe that it’s actually happening now that I’m here,” the Ansonia freshman said. “It’s really overwhelming that I’m a freshman being on podium at state. Putting all the hard work into it, I guess, paid off.”
Sink set her goals high entering the state meet and wanted to finish on the podium, a goal she reached in the high jump.
“I don’t know how many freshmen actually set their goals as high as I do,” she said. “I guess it’s my family that really helps me set my goals that high. My dad really is one that pushes me to where I want to be.”
Earlier Friday afternoon, Sink finished 14th in the Division III girls long jump with a jump of 16 feet 1.5 inches.
“When I competed in long jump, I think that’s where my nerves got to me,” Sink said. “I knew I could have jumped farther than what I did.”
After the long jump, Sink said, she refocused, which helped her reach her goal of making the podium in the high jump later in the afternoon.
“It wasn’t, like, overpowering as I thought it would be, like walking into the stadium and just like freaking out,” Sink said of her first trip to the state meet. “I kept my cool, and I think that’s what helped me.”
For complete results from the OHSAA state track and field meet, visit ohsaa.org.