Monday, June 10th, 2013
Kanney repeats as 1,600 champion
Adds third-place finish in 800 meters, State Track Meet
By Bruce Monnin
Coldwater sophomore Sarah Kanney repeated as Division III's state champion in th. . .
COLUMBUS - Coldwater sophomore Sarah Kanney made school history on Saturday during the final day of the state track meet. Kanney repeated as the Division II 1,600-meter champion to become the first Cavalier girl to win two state titles.
A year ago Kanney won the event with a time of 5:00.97, almost four seconds better than the best of the rest of the field. With Kanney posting a time at regionals seven seconds better than any other competitor, she was one of the heavy favorites at this year's state meet.
From the starting gun, it looked like a repeat win was a done deal as Kanney jumped out to an early lead and had a two-second lead after the first 400 meters. By the halfway point of the race, Kanney's lead had grown to 3.5 seconds.
However, one person was not yet ready to concede the title to Kanney. Oakwood's Mary Kate Vaughn, who would later earn a dominating 13-second win in the 3,200 meters, started to slowly close the gap. With 400 meters to go, her deficit was down to 2.5 seconds.
As the runners completed the first turn and headed into the backstretch for the last time, Vaughn cut further into Kanney's lead. Kanney then turned her head to check out what was happening behind her. She was not tiring but merely gauging how much effort she needed for the win.
"I wanted to make sure that if she (Vaughn) kicked harder then I would go harder," explained Kanney about her strategy. "I still had the 800 meters coming so I didn't want to overextend myself."
Once Kanney saw her competition closing in, she turned up the speed a bit. The lead grew and she eventually rolled to a five-second win. Her final time was 4:55.26, just a few tenths of a second slower than her personal best and school record.
Fifty minutes after winning the 1,600 meters, Kanney competed in the 800 meters. Once again she took the early lead and led the pack at the end of the first lap. However, Kanney's lead was not large enough to hold off the best of her competition. She held on through the backstretch, but two girls passed her before the finish to drop Kanney into third place.
Kanney crossed the finish line in a time of 2:12.75, almost three seconds better than her personal record and just about half a second short of the school record set in 1996 by Karla Klosterman.
Kanney may drop the 800 and instead return to the 3,200 next year. She finished third in that event at last year's state track meet and ran a time earlier in the season that would have been good enough for another high placing this year. However, she had two other teammates who were able to reach the podium in that event, so she was moved to the 800 meters to maximize Coldwater's presence as a team at this year's state meet.