COLUMBUS — Bryan juniors Tyler Manon and Taylor Peters each earned All-Ohio podium finishes at the OHSAA Division II State Track & Field Championships at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Saturday.
Peters, a year after placing 10th with a vault of 10 feet, 6 inches, returned to the state meet on Saturday and landed on the podium with a fifth-place finish and a personal-best vault of 11-2.
“It feels amazing and it feels really good,” Peters said. “A lot better than last year. ... It was definitely better having the experience, being here and knowing what to expect a little bit. Definitely the experience I had before helped me a little bit with nerves. I had a lot of nerves last year.”
After passing through the starting height of 9-6, Peters rolled through the 10-0, 10-6, 10-10 and 11-2 heights clean, before missing on her three attempts at 11-6. Three other vaulters were also eliminated at 11-6, but Peters having a clean day up until then earned her the fifth-place finish.
Although she was able to advance to the state meet for the second straight year, Peters didn’t feel she was performing her best in recent weeks. A week ago at regionals, it took her three tries to clear 10 feet, a height she normally clears with ease.
But it all came together on Saturday.
“I was going through a little funk, I guess,” she said. “But I kept practicing and things started clicking. I really started working through my poles and everything kind of tied together.”
Later in the day in the boys 400, Manon zipped around the track in 49.22 seconds to place fifth and earn All-Ohio honors. Manon said he would have liked to have bested his mark of 49.18 set at regionals a week earlier, but was overall happy with his finish.
“I felt good off the start,” Manon said. “Being in lane 2 is a little different. Usually I’m running away from everybody. This time I had to chase. I was a little excited for it and it wasn’t bad, because I could see where everybody is. I made up good ground until 150. That’s when I started to lose it a bit. ... But I tried my best and I held strong. I can’t be upset with fifth.”
The 2019 season was the first year in which Manon began to focus on the 400. In the past, he’d been a 300 hurdler — the event directly after the 400.
Manon wasn’t sure which events he’d focus on when the season began, so ending the year as an All-Ohio 400 runner is not something he necessarily saw coming.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do at the start of the year,” Manon said. “They kind of put me around everywhere, but then for leagues, they put me in the 400 and I talked to them about instead of doing 300 hurdles at districts, maybe put me in the 400. And here I am.”
Bryan senior Keegan Brown, who was also in action for the Bears on Saturday, placed 12th in the boys discus with a toss of 152-4.