COLUMBUS — Bradford’s Shay LaFollette finished her high school career on the podium at state, marking the first time she reached that platform in her four years of high school.
LaFollette finished seventh with a time of 15.76 in the Division III girls 100-meter hurdles to earn one of the eight spots on the podium at the Ohio High School Athletic Association track and field championships at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
“It’s amazing,” the Bradford senior said. “It was all I ever dreamed it could be.”
LaFollette’s celebration was tempered, however, as she had to leave the stadium after her race to get an X-ray on her finger, which she thought she broke during the competition.
“The girl next to me hit a hurdle, it flew up, hit my hand,” LaFollette said. “I got knocked off balance, but I finished. That’s all that really matters.”
The impact of the hurdle did bring back some bad memories for LaFollette of her junior year at state when another competitor bumped her during the finals of the 100-meter hurdles. That threw off her rhythm, and she hit a hurdle, causing her to finish ninth — one spot off the podium.
“That’s the second year in a row where something bad has happened at the state meet in finals,” the Railroader hurdler said. “I’m just glad I could pull through and finish.”
It was a long journey for LaFollette to get on the podium at state. In both her freshman and sophomore seasons she finished 10th in the preliminaries of the state meet’s 100-meter hurdles, just missing qualifying for the finals by 0.06 seconds and 0.03 seconds those two years. As a junior she qualified for the finals but had the contact and finished just short of the podium.
LaFollette, who is committed to compete for the Northern Kentucky University women’s track and field team, said she was very pleased with her high school career and all her accomplishments.
“I think they’re impressive,” she said. “I don’t want to be biased, but it was pretty impressive.”
For complete results from the OHSAA state track and field meet, visit ohsaa.org.