By David Fong
COLUMBUS — Being on the podium felt a whole lot better than being on a swingset.
One year ago, then-Miami East sophomore Marie Ewing injured her ankle jumping off a swingset a week before the Division III regional track and field meet. She competed at regionals, but a hobbled Ewing was only able to finish 10th, costing her a spot at the state meet after making it the year prior as a freshman.
“I haven’t been on a swingset since then,” Ewing said with a grin.
Instead, Ewing found herself in a much more desirable spot Saturday — standing on the podium at the Division III state track and field meet in Columbus after placing sixth in the 800 in a time of 2:16.67.
“This feels incredible,” Ewing said. “Being on the podium at state is something I’ve been dreaming of since the seventh grade. To actually get here feels amazing.”
Perhaps the year away from the state meet allowed Ewing to focus on the mistakes she had made as a freshman, when — by her own admission — Ewing came out “too nervous” and “too focused” the day of the meet.
“My plan this year was the total opposite of what it was my freshman year,” she said. “That year I was too nervous and just totally focused.
“I do think you can be too focused and overthink things. This year, I woke up relaxed and just wanted to have fun. That’s what I did, and it worked out for me.”
With a state medal in her pocket, Ewing is hoping that same strategy works out even better next season.
“I always said my goal was to get on the podium one year, then be on the top of the podium the next year,” she said. “That’s my goal for next year, to win.”
Contact David Fong at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong.