Over her four-year career, Northwest’s Shae Patty made significant strides and accomplishments in several different areas.
She was an integral member of the OASSA Division III Mount Cheerleading State Championship squad. She earned Division III All-Southeast District Special Mention accolades as a senior behind her averages of 9.5 points, six assists, and five rebounds per contest in basketball.
Now, Patty can officially say that she’s placed on a statewide scale in an individual sport.
The 5-8 senior and stellar student-athlete did exactly that at the OHSAA Division II Track and Field Championships on June 2 by placing sixth in her best event — the high jump — with a mark of five feet, five inches in Columbus to set a new standard for the Northwest track and field program.
And rightfully so, the standout was elated with her performance.
“It feels absolutely great,” Patty said. “Every year, I just continued to work and got better and better. To sit on the podium at the state meet after working so hard to get there is unbelievable for me.”
After jumping five feet in her sophomore season to claim the 13th finishing position in the high jump in her sophomore season and adding another two inches to that mark to come home 11th as a junior, Patty continued her rapid improvement throughout the 2017 campaign by adding a five feet, four inch jump to take home first place in the Division II Washington Court House District Meet — an improvement that she credited to Chris Enz, along with Dave Frantz, for their dedication in working with the senior hopeful.
“With both (Chris) Enz and (Dave) Frantz and trying to help me with my technique in both running and jumping, I was certainly very blessed,” Patty said. “They always made sure that everything was okay and that everything ran smoothly. I didn’t have to worry about anything throughout the season other than executing in the events that I competed in throughout the year, so having them as coaches has been such a blessing.”
However, Patty wasn’t done improving. In fact, the senior followed her district-winning performance with a five feet, six inch jump to finish second (Lilly Ritz, the Division II, Region 7 Champion in the event, also jumped the same height, but got the nod by clearing the jump on the first try).
The rapid improvement, along with faith and belief, had Patty confident in her own abilities to come with the state’s best in the event.
“Usually, when I go to the state meet, I am super nervous,” Patty said. “This year, however, I just kept telling myself, ‘You’ve made it this far. God will take you farther within His plan.’ I just stayed calm and knew that I had to do what I had to do, which is to jump the bar, and knew that however well I jumped that day is how it was supposed to go. To be able to finish in the top six is just unbelievable.”
With Patty’s goal dead-set on matching her personal best set at the regional meet, the determined student-athlete set out to accomplish that goal — and certainly made the best of it.
After clearing five feet and five feet, two inches on her first try in both jumps, the senior came back from misses on the initial set of jumps to clear five feet, four inches and five feet, five inches on the second jump to clinch a top-10 finishing position.
While Patty ultimately missed clearing five feet, six inches on all three of her jumps, the senior still accomplish a sixth-place finish with her 5-5 jump, which was a three-inch improvement over her junior year and a five-inch improvement over her sophomore season.
As a result, Patty improved five full places from her junior season to her senior campaign en route to accomplishing a scoring position, which was something that the senior took great pride in.
“My goal at state was to jump my personal best, which was 5-6,” Patty said. “I jumped 5-5, but that was only one inch off of my personal best, so that was still a very big accomplishment for me, especially considering that it occurred at the state level. I can’t be unhappy with that kind of jump, especially against such a high level of competition.”
For the senior star, the sixth-place finish was an excellent way to end a career that has already produced a ton of memories.
And, according to Patty, she’s looked back on each of them in a fine fashion since her graduation from Northwest.
“Wow, there’s a ton of memories,” Patty said. “Winning the state cheerleading title was big because I did that with my squad. However, I had great memories in all of the sports that I participated in, whether it was basketball, where I played four years with great teammates who had each other’s backs, or track, where I qualified for state in all three seasons of my career. It’s unbelievable to see what’s been accomplished, the friends that I’ve made, and the memories that I’ve made with them. It’s so nice to be able to look back and look at all of the awesome things that happened throughout my high school career.”
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7