Lehman Catholic’s Franklin wins two state titles in D-III track; Covington’s Long runs in 3,200


COLUMBUS — Lehman Catholic senior sprinter Kiersten Franklin had said after the prelims Friday in D-III competition at the state track and field meet at Jesse Owens Stadium that she was looking for multiple state titles this year —after winning the 200 a year ago.

Franklin’s prayers were answered as she won the 100 and 200 meter dashes Saturday and finished sixth in the 400 in her final three races for Lehman, before going on to run at Cedarville University next year.

She is the second Lehman sprinter to win two state titles in one meet. Gretchen Walter won the 100 and 400 and finished second in the 200 in 2011.

“I just feel really blessed,” Franklin said. “I won two state titles and had PRs in both races.”

Franklin’s day started with a showdown with defending state champion Kenna Stimmel of Castalia Margaretta in the 100.

And it did not disappoint.

It was a race to the finish line with Franklin crossing the line in 12.05 and Stimmel right behind her 12.10.

But, Franklin already knew she had won the race.

“I prayed before the race,” she said. “God has really blessed me.”

Her next race was the 400, but she was also thinking about her final race, where she would defend her title in the 200.

She took fifth in the 400 in 58.31.

Sydnee Sinn of Wayne Trace won in 55.92.

“I wanted to make sure I save something for the 200,” Franklin said. “So, I was just happy to make it up on the podium in the 400. I was really happy with the race.”

That left the 200.

Franklin came in with the second fastest qualifying time behind Leah Smith of Tiffin Calvert.

But, Smith couldn’t catch her Saturday.

Franklin pulled away from the field in winning 24.80.

Smith was second in 25.28.

“Yes sir (she wanted to defend her title),” Franklin said. “The break (between the 400 and 200) helped me a lot. I just feel really blessed by God and am happy with what I accomplished.”

Covington freshman Elyza Long competed in the girls 3,200-meter run.

Long finished 18th with a time of 12:15.43.

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