Lehman Catholic’s McFarland defends state title; Waltz, Lee find podium in high jump


DAYTON — Winning her first state title may have been the easy part for Lehman Catholic senior Katie McFarland.

Defending it…priceless.

McFarland finished off her long battle back from a serious injury in January by winning the D-III state title in the pole vault Thursday at Welcome Stadium…and then finished her career with some excitement.

“I think it is kind of a feeling of relief,” McFarland said. “Being in a hospital in January after a fall in Reno (Nevada) and being able to defend my title, I think that is a pretty good accomplishment, It means a lot.”

McFarland passed until 11-6 and made her first attempts at 11-6 and 11-10.

After missing her first attempt at 12-2, she made her second attempt — leaving just her and Annamarie Montle of Federal Hocking in the competition at 12-6.

McFarland made her first attempt at that height.

“I had a pretty good feeling that would win it for me,” McFarland said. “But, you never know.”

As Montle made her third and final attempt at 12-6, McFarland didn’t watch.

“Honestly, after what happened to me in Reno, I don’t watch anyone jump,” she said.

When Montle missed, McFarland was state champion.

She then attempted 13-feet and on her final attempt, as she was going up — her hands came off the pole and she did a flip before landing safely on the matt.

“I am okay,” she said while holding an icepack on her elbow. “I am not really sure what happened, The important thing is I came down on the mat. I wanted to get 13 feet, but maybe I can get that next year (at the University of Mississippi).”

After an amazing final two years in the pole vault at Lehman.

Waltz, Lee

find podium

Troy Christian freshman Elisabeth Waltz and Lehman Catholic senior Daria Lee are at the opposite end of the spectrum.

But, both found their way up on the podium in the D-III high jump Thursday.

Waltz, coming off running at the state cross country meet in the fall, continued to impress with a third-place finish with a PR of 5-5.

Waltz had one miss at 5-2, before clearing 5-3 and 5-5 on her third attempts.

“It (the high jump) kind of happened by accident,” Waltz said. “I didn’t start high jumping until the middle of the season. I was looking for fourth event. I definitely didn’t expect this. It does raise my expectations (for the future).”

Lee had made it to state two years ago, but missed last season due to a serious knee injury. So, it was the perfect finish for her.

She cleared 5-3 to finish sixth.

“I am very happy,” she said. “I jumped well today. I didn’t get a PR, but I still have college (Wright State). This was a great way to finish my high school career.”

On to Finals

Newton’s Seth Coker and Covington’s Day’Lynn Lee both advanced to finals scheduled for Friday.

Coker had the seventh fastest qualifying time of 49.81 in the 400 Friday, while Garrett ran a PR of 39.7y to get the eighth fastest qualifying time in the 300 hurdles.

Covington relay 15th

The Covington girls 3,200 relay (Elyza Long, Carlie Besecker, Ramse Vanderhorst, Johanna Welborn) finished 15th in 9:55.84.

Besecker had the 12th fastest time in the 400, 60.09.

Covington’s Preston King tied for 16th in the high jump.

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

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