COLUMBUS — All good things must come to an end.
But while Libby Miller’s high school career did in fact reach its end Saturday morning, her legacy will live on for years to come.
Competing at the OHSAA Track and Field State Championships on Saturday, Miller ran her last two races as a Wheelersburg Pirate … and then passed the torch to her teammates.
The senior finished ninth overall in the Division III 100-meter dash with a finish time of 13.09 seconds. Shen then helped her 4×200-meter relay team — alongside teammates Lauren Jolly, Lani Irwin and Alyssa Dingus — take a ninth place finish at 1:47.77.
“I am so proud of my team and what we did this weekend in Columbus,” Miller said. “Of course ninth isn’t what I envisioned for myself in the 100 or my teammates in the 4×200 but we can’t beat ourselves up over that. Getting to be ninth in the state is an absolute honor and running against such talented girls is a hard thing to do. Wearing Wheelersburg across my chest for the last time might have been the hardest part but I’m so grateful for the time I’ve had and everything I’ve had the opportunity to accomplish. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Miller’s teammates now have the chance to go back to the state meet next spring.
They’ll, of course, have to do it without her, but the experience she helped them gain this year will greatly help that cause.
“For next year, we need to stay mentally positive. This year the pressure was on, and to compete in lane one is a hard thing to do,” Irwin said. “I believe that mental toughness will enable us to make it as far as we did this year, and possibly even be seated at the top of the podium. Hard work needs to be put in. There are no off days. It has to be go-go-go and we can’t expect things to fall into place. We have to go work for them. Hard work and determination is all track is. I believe we are all talented, but everyone is at the state level. Work ethic and attitude is what contributes to the drive, and I believe we have that drive to get us here again.”
Wheelersburg’s quartet weren’t the only Scioto County track athletes to compete Saturday.
Green’s Zach Huffman earned a podium finish with an eighth place showing in the Division III 300-meter hurdles. The senior posted a time of 40.43 seconds to do so.
Before the state meet began, Huffman said, “I’m going to go and run my hardest. There’s really no pressure because I’ve made it this far. But I just want to run the best that I can and I’ll be happy with whatever happens.”
Huffman was certainly smiling after receiving his medal on the podium.
Also competing was Northwest’s Landen Smith, who took 11th place in the 1600-meter run. The sophomore completed the race in 4:27.95.
As for all of the aforementioned athletes, just getting to Columbus is an honor.
“It’s an honor to make it to this level of competition,” Dingus said. “To make it to the state finals is a huge accomplishment and it’s one that I plan to cherish and learn from for next year.”
Here’s a full breakdown of all of Scioto County’s state track athletes’ finishes:
Wheelersburg’s Paige Emnett won the Division III state discus title with a throw of 139-feet before taking second in the shot put with a throw of 43-2.5. The Pirates’ 4×100 relay of Gabby Deacon, Miller, Irwin and Jolly finished 12th with a time of 50.85 seconds. Those performances joined Miller’s ninth place finish in the 100 dash and a ninth place showing in the 4×200 relay.
Green’s Huffman took eighth in the 300 hurdles while Valley’s Jacob Brickey finished seventh in the shot put with a best throw of 52-8.5. South Webster’s Josiah Edwards also picked up hardware in a throwing event, taking eighth place in the shot put with a heave of 154-4.
In Division II, Northwest’s Haidyn Wamsley was second in the high jump at 5-feet-5 before she took 15th in the 100 hurdles with a finish time of 16.25 seconds. The Mohawks’ Chase McClay finished 10th in the 300 hurdles with a time of 39.89 seconds while Smith took 11th in the 1600 run. Northwest’s 4×800 relay of McClay, Josh Shope, Landen Smith, and Gabe Morrell finished on the podium, taking seventh with a time of 8:04.98.
Portsmouth also had a pair of athletes compete in Division II as senior Aiden Kammler took 15th place in the 3200-meter run, crossing the finish line in 10:05.41. His teammate Eugene Johnson finished 17th place in the 400 dash with a time of 51.23 seconds.
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