GRACIE RYAN soars through the air on her way to the state championship in the triple jump. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
May 28, 2012MILFORD — To say Kennett sophomore Gracie Ryan had an interesting day at the Division II State Meet on Saturday, May 26, may be a bit of an understatement.
The first order of business for the Eagle track star at Milford High School on Saturday was accepting a plaque honoring her selection to the All-State team.
Ryan then moved on to win the triple jump in a pretty unique fashion.
After qualifying for the finals in the fifth position, Ryan did two jumps and both she and coach Bernie Livingston somehow lost count of the number, forgetting she had one more.
When Livingston realized the mistake, he sent Ryan's teammate Seth Davison out to bring her back and she sprinted back to the pits for her final jump.
Without having any time to think about it, Ryan leaped 35 feet, four inches, a personal best by a foot, and took the Division II state championship.
Next on the agenda, Ryan teamed with Gigi Miller, Emmaline Ashe and Cassie Doucet to run the 4X100-meter relay and the team raced to third place with a time of 51.52 seconds.
Both performances were good enough to automatically qualify for the Meet of Champions this Saturday.
Ryan returned to the jumping pits for the long jump, where she leaped 16 feet, 6.25 inches in her first jump.
However, she was also scheduled to compete in the 200 meters, so she left the jumping pits and headed to the track, where she ran to fifth overall with a time of 26.83. However, as she was crossing the finish line, she fell, scraping herself up pretty bad.
Livingston elected to hold her out of the final event she was scheduled for, the 4X400-meter relay, and also pulled her from the remainder of her long jumps.
However, her long jump distance stood up for third place overall, meaning she qualified for the Meet of Champions in three different events on the day.
The top four finishers in each event in Division II compete against the top three finishers in Division III and the top five finishers in Division I, plus the next best four finishers in the Meet of Champions.
Ryan wasn't the only Eagle in compeition on Saturday, as she had plenty of Eagle company on the track.
Gigi Miller qualified for the finals in the 100 meters with her preliminary time of 13.32 seconds. She bested that time in the finals, finishing in 13.24 seconds for seventh place overall. Miller also finished seventh in the 200 meters in 27.45 seconds.
Sarah Hernandez ran the 1,600 meters and finished in 6:04.57. The Eagle 4X400-meter team of Ashe, Miller, Sianna Streeter and Maggie LaRoche ran to 10th overall in 4:29.75 and the 4X800-meter team of Ashe, Katie Taylor, Hannah Benson and LaRoche was ninth in 10:42.07.
Katie Anderson threw the discus 87 feet, 11 inches and Maggie Perkins tossed it 84 feet, six inches. In the javelin, Christine Fournier reached 89 feet, four inches and Kaitlyn Krug threw 82 feet, 10 inches.
The Eagle boys weren't able to bring home any points, but still had some solid performances.
Mike Albert finished out his Kennett career with a seventh place in the 400 meters in a time of 52.14 seconds. Peter Haine also finished out his final individual event, taking ninth in the 1,600 meters in a time of 4:43.11, a new personal best.
Dustin Stewart finished 10th in the 110-meter hurdles in 17.61 seconds and finished the 300-meter hurdles in 44.89 seconds. Teammate Seth Davison finished in 46.73 seconds. Davison also competed in the triple jump, finishing at 37 feet, three inches.
The Kennett 4X100-meter relay team of Mike Mason, Brian Caputo, Albert and Thomas Chant took seventh overall in a time of 45.77 seconds, while the 4X400-meter team of Haine, David Mays, Caputo and Henry Gotjen finished in 3:49.52 in the sweltering afternoon sun.
Mason also added a finish in the long jump, leaping 18 feet, 11 inches.
Ryan and the 4X100-meter relay team earned automatic berths into the Meet of Champions, which takes place on Saturday, June 2, at 2:30 p.m. at Londonderry High School.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126