COLUMBUS - Three Division II local athletes will lace them up today for a chance to stand on the podium at the Ohio State Track and Field Championships at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at Ohio State University.
Indian Creek's Alex Young and Steubenville Big Red's Robert Hayden ran qualifying races Friday and Edison's Katelyn Pollock will be one of 16 in the long jump.
Young continued his amazing run at during the track postseason with a 50.16 to finish second in his 400 heat.
STRONG?SHOWING — Big Red’s Robert Hayden, who qualified in the 100, runs the anchor leg of his team’s 4X200 relay.
There are four times ahead of his - 49.42, 49.66, 49.73 and 49.87.
"We'll see what happens tomorrow," said Young. "This whole thing has been amazing. I never thought I would be here in front of all these people running in the state finals with a chance to get on the podium."
He borrowed shoes from Landon Woods and has run five 400s to get to this point, none slower than the second at 50.98 to win the district title.
"I was as nervous as could be today," said Young. "I was talking to (East Liverpool's) Zack English and the kid from River View (Andy Parsons) before the race and thought 'this is the biggest stage of them all right here.'
"When we pulled into the parking lot to get here I thought the place was full and it (the crowd) kept getting bigger and bigger.
"I talked with Dave Connor and coach (Jack) Fluharty and they said that all I needed to do was qualify. Everyone has been so helpful during this whole thing.
"Everywhere I go people have been so nice. They've said 'congrats' or 'good luck.' All my coaches have supported me. My parents and brother (Anthony) are here.
"This has been pretty cool. It's pretty incredible what they do here."
Hayden clocked an 11.07 to finish fourth in his 100 heat and had to wait around to possibly hear his name as one of the nine finalists.
"That was hard," he admitted.
And he was in the slow heat as fifth place in the second heat ran 11.05.
"I thought I would have to run 11-flat to qualify. I have to do better tomorrow," said the Big Red junior. "I was a little upset with myself today. I know I can do better tomorrow.
"I really didn't have any nerves today. I felt good before the race.
"At first I didn't think I made it and then my teammates told me I did. That was exciting."