Lehman Catholic’s Katie McFarland wins D-III state pole vault title


COLUMBUS — It was a show worth the price of admission.

Lehman Catholic junior pole vaulter Katie McFarland and Ansonia junior Colleen Steinmetz put on a show worth the price of admission Friday at the D-III state track and field meet at Jesse Owens Stadium.

And in the end, it was McFarland on the top of the podium — in just her second year of competitive pole vaulting — and Steinmetz taking second.

“I didn’t even qualify for state last year,” McFarland said. “I went from that to winning the state title. I think that is about as good as you can do.”

The two were the only vaulters to clear 12-0 and 12-4, before McFarland got 12-8 on her third attempt to win the state title.

“I like vaulting against her (Colleen Steinmetz),” McFarland said. “I think we make each other better. Competition is a good thing.”

The two went back-and-forth making big jumps.

Both had a long wait before getting in at 10-8 — and later there was long wait while a ruling was made.

“The waiting wasn’t really a problem,” McFarland said. “I used to be in gymnastics and there were times it took officials a long time to make decisions.”

After both made their opening attempts at 10-8, Steinmetz passed at 11-0, while McFarland got it on her second attempt.

During the wait at 11-4, McFarland passed and Steinmetz made it on her first attempt to gain the advantage.

But, at 11-8 McFarland cleared on her second attempt, while Steinmetz made it on her third attempt — leaving them as the only two vaulters in the competition.

At 12-0, McFarland cleared on her first attempt, while Steinmetz again made it on her third attempt to stay alive.

After Steinmetz made 12-4 on her second attempt, McFarland did the same to maintain her advantage on misses.

When Steinmetz missed her third attempt at 12-8, McFarland knew she was the champ — based on misses.

But, she wanted to finish things right.

She broke her own school record by clearing 12-8 and celebrated as soon as she came down before missing all three attempts at 13-0 while going for another school record.

“When I made it (at 12-8), that felt really good,” McFarland said. “The goal was 13-0 today, but that is OK.”

She has another year for that.

“I am hoping to get on bigger poles next year and come over here and finish on top again,” McFarland said.

After putting on a show that gave fans more than their money’s worth.

Caroline Wesner had a ninth-place finish in the long jump to end her senior season for Lehman, just missing the podium. She was ninth going into the finals with a jump of 17-0 1-4 and couldn’t move up from there.

McFarland Wesner teamed with Mara O’Leary and Kailee Rank for the 13th fastest time in the 400 relay in 51.06.

Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]

No posts to display