By Mark Carpenter –
The eyes of Adams County were directed towards the state capital last Saturday morning as a pair of local athletes took center stage attempting to bring home state championships. Sister and brother Jenny and Matt Seas, representing Peebles High School, made their way through district and regional competition to the state’s highest platform, the OHSAA State Track Meet, held last weekend at Jesse Owens Stadium on the campus of Ohio State University.
Both runners were competing in the grueling 3200 Meter Run, which equates to eight trips around the 400 meter track and both would end up on the winner’s podium at race’s end.
Jenny was making her second consecutive trip to the Division III state final, finishing second overall as a freshman last spring. In last Saturday morning’s race, she held on to that second spot for most of the race before a late rush by St. Wendelin’s Sophia Volpe propelled her past Seas into second behind repeat champion Kyleigh Edwards from Fairfield Christian.
For Jenny, the drop to third was disappointing, but her overall effort was not as her time Saturday of 10:57.93 was five seconds better than her performance at last year’s state meet.
“I was just trying to stay with the girl I ran against in the regional (Edwards) because I knew she would be the one to take it out,” said Jenny. “I was staying with her and hanging on but I guess the last two laps is when I just didn’t seem to have it in me and I kind of let off and then at the very end a girl got me, but overall I was happy with my race.
Even though I placed behind, I beat my time from last year by five seconds.”
Both of the girls that finished ahead of Jenny were seniors, which obviously bumps Jenny up into the spot of favorite to capture next year’s state title in the 3200.
“I think if I run in some more competitive races and maybe do like more speed events, that will help me get better and build up my endurance even more,” said Jenny.
In the Boys 3200, Matt Seas was making his first appearance in the state finals, following his brother Dan who was there last spring. Matt went in with no expectations, and came out pleasantly surprised with the results.
“I just wanted to go out and run a good first mile and stay well positioned, said Matt. “My goal was to just stay with some people and maybe place top eight. I didn’t really know what to expect so overall I was very surprised that I even finished top eight because my times coming in were not even close to that. I performed like I should have an other people did not.”
“My state time was better than my regional. I am definitely looking to do a lot better next year and obviously run a much quicker time because that’s what I need to do.
Half of the finishers above Matt were in their senior years, which means he bumps up into one of the top four or five favorites going into next spring, which will be his senior year.