By Gary R. Rasberry
COLUMBUS -- The day did not start well for Julie Snyder at the 2005 State Track and Field Championships on Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.
The Celina freshman had a rough beginning in her preliminary heat of the 100-meter hurdles. Running out of lane one, Snyder got out of the blocks well, but caught her trailing leg on the third hurdle and went into the grass and out of her lane. Snyder came back to finish, but was last. Coming out of the lane is an automatic disqualification with no time listed.
The day only slightly got better as Snyder competed in the long jump three hours after her hurdle prelim. Snyder had one of the best regional showings among the 16 qualifiers and looked to make a run to the top eight and a spot on the poidum.
Through the preliminary rounds, Snyder was clinging to one of the nine spots in the finals and later gained enough distance to earn finalist spots. The day ended soon after for the freshman as her top jump of 17 feet, 9 1/2 inches was 1 1/14 inch less than the eighth-place finisher, Mikeal Roberts of Princeton, denying Snyder a spot on the podium and keeping Celina scoreless for the weekend.
DIVISION II With 10 competitors entered in the state meet, things were hoping to go well for the Versailles boys.
Instead, the Tigers will have to get all of their points on Saturday after the boys 3,200-meter relay team finished 16th in the field, recording a time of 8:29.54, 18 seconds slower than their regional meet time.
Who exactly won the race was a question on the minds of most who were in attendance. Akron St. Vincent-St. Marys crossed the line first in a time of 7:53.38, but the 200-meter mark away from the finish, a yellow flag, signaling a foul, came up when SVSM's Brenden McKee and Mogadore Field's Christopher Sinick crossed. It was unsure whether SVSM wandered out of the lane and interfered with the incoming Field runner, or if Sinick tried to cut too early.
After a meeting of the judges, the public address anouncer asked the SVSM coach to come to the judges' tent at the finish line, a usual signal that a person or team was disqualified. After several minutes of discussion, the Irish were dejected and Field moved to the top of the podium, but no decision was made as the Irish appealed the ruling.
After several more minutes, the judges brought over the official ruling, giving the Irish the win and 10 points with Field second and Salem third.
As for the rest of the day for the Versailles boys, it was up and down.
Senior Jeff Hileman earned a shot into the finals in both the 110 and 300 hurdles after two strong showings. Hileman's time of 14.67 seconds in the 110 is seventh best among the eight finalists.
Things look better in the 300 as Hileman's 38.66 is third best and just 0.04 seconds off second-seeded Dante Jackson of Greenfield.
The Tigers' 800-relay team failed to make it to the finals, finishing with the 14th best time of the two heats, 1:33.31. In the relays, the top eight times move on to Saturday.
In the only other Division II qualifying event for area teams, the St. Marys 400-relay team was 11th in the qualifiers with a time of 50.95 seconds, missing out on the finals by three spots and 0.66 seconds.