By Josh Brown
and David Fong
COLUMBUS — Beyonce Bobbitt knew just how close she came.
“It’s just being right there … I had it,” the Milton-Union senior said through a mixture of sad and happy tears.
Bobbitt led the discus competition from her first throw all the way to the next-to-last throws, when Miami Trace’s Katie Seyfang passed her. Bobbitt retook the lead before the final throws, but Seyfang passed her again and Bobbitt couldn’t reclaim the lead on her final heave, finishing as the state runner-up at Friday’s Division II state track and field meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
“I had one more chance to answer, and I just didn’t do it,” Bobbitt said. “I accomplished a lot today, though. I threw the best I’ve thrown all season, and that’s all you can ask for at state. I’m proud. I’m proud of what I did, I’m proud of Katie for getting first, and I’m proud of everyone here. It’s just bittersweet, having it right there. But I’m still proud of everything I’ve accomplished the last four years.”
Bobbitt let loose a 137-8 on her first throw of the day in the first flight, and that put her in first place going all the way into the finals. But on the fifth attempts, Seyfang threw 138-5 to take the lead … briefly, as Bobbitt simply couldn’t wait to get back into the circle to answer.
“I was like, ‘hurry up!’” Bobbitt said of waiting for the measuring crew for the competitor before her fifth throw. “See, my thing is I love competition. I love the adrenaline rush it gives you, I love throwing against other people as skilled as me, and I love throwing against people more skilled than me so I can try to get up there with them. It gives you something to shoot for.”
Bobbitt let loose a 143-3 to take back the top spot, but Seyfang passed her up again during the sixth and final throws, throwing 144-5 to take first — and Bobbitt’s final throw of 137-1 simply wasn’t enough.
The second-place finish still marked the highest spot on the podium for Bobbitt, who was a four-time state qualifier in the discus. Her freshman season she finished 13th, then she climbed to 11th as a sophomore before landing on the podium last year as a junior, placing fourth.
“I’m proud of my high school career,” Bobbitt said. “I’ proud of what I’ve accomplished here the last four years. And I’ve still got one more day, throwing in the shot put tomorrow, so I’ve got to be ready for that.”
By his own admission, Blaine Brokschmidt didn’t have his best day.
Still, though, even on an “off day,” the Miami East junior was better than nearly every other Division II pole vaulter in the state of Ohio. Brokschmidt placed fourth with a vault of 14-2. It was nearly a foot lower than the school-record 15-0 he jumped a week prior at regionals.
“I wanted to be at the top of the podium,” said Brokschidt, who placed eighth as a sophomore. “It’s disappointing, because I knew I could do better. Today just wasn’t a good day for me. I didn’t feel good in warm ups. Really, it wasn’t a good week for me. I didn’t get in much practice because of the weather and my shin splints were bothering me. But I can’t make excuses. I didn’t vault the way I wanted to vault.”
After passing at the first three heights, Brokschmidt entered the competition and didn’t have and cleared 13-6, 13-10 and 14-2 without any misses. That left just four vaulters in the competition. When the bar was raised to 14-6, Brokschmidt failed to get off a clean attempt.
“I think it helped coming over here last year,” he said. “This year, it felt like just another meet. I’ve vaulted against all of these guys before. I know all of them. That took a lot of the pressure off. I felt a lot more comfortable then I felt last year.”
Brokschmidt said he hopes to refocus and make a final run at a state title as a senior.
“I had a good year,” he said. “I jumped a foot higher than I have before and I set the school record. Now I’m going to put in a lot of work this summer and fix my form so I can jump higher next year.”
Red Devils compete
The Tippecanoe girls track and field team competed in a pair of events Friday.
In the 4×800, the relay team of Katie Taylor, Kaili Titley, Makenzie Dietz and Mackenzie Dix placed 13th in 9:45.31. Dietz, a senior, and juniors Titley and Taylor were running the event at the state meet for the third straight season, while it was the first state appearance for freshman Dix.
And in the 100 hurdles preliminaries, senior Lydia Stueve — making her second straight state appearance — turned in the 16th-fastest time (15.88 seconds).