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It was a special weekend for Covington track as several Buccaneer competitors earned spots on the podium.
Jackie Siefring placed third in the 300 meter hurdles and fourth in the long jump.
Cary Shell placed sixth in the 3200 meter run.
Ryan Craft hands off the Alex Schilling as the Buccs took third in the 4x400 meter relay.
By Rob Kiser, Piqua Daily Call

The Covington boys 1,600-meter relay got back together just in the nick of time at the Division III state track and field championships Saturday at Jesse Owens Stadium.

Covington hurdler Troy Cron finished his career with two trips to the podium — and Lehman junior Justin Stewart saw a lot to build on.

The Buccs foursome of Ryan Craft, Alex Schilling, Dustin Fickert and Lane White finished third in a school-record 3:20.36. This weekend was the first White has been able to run in month.

“We went through some injuries and I think getting Lane (White) back helped a lot,” Fickert said. “We got back to running the way we were earlier in the season.”

White got the baton in third position and made a run at Columbus Academy and Minster before settling for third.

“We were cheering for him, that’s for sure,” Craft said.

And they like the results.

“He ran a great leg,” Schilling said. “We ran a really good race today.”

And White nearly got by Minster for second, finishing .27 seconds behind Wildcat anchor Korey Schultz.

“I was giving it my all,” White said. “The hamstring felt great. I was pretty happy with my race. This was a good way to end the season.”

Cron — making his second trip to state — was running on championship Saturday for the first time in his career.

“It is a lot different,” Cron said. “You have a big crowd and everybody seems to run faster.”

In what Cron considers his weaker race, he recorded a seventh-place finish in the 110 hurdles in 15.20.

“All you can do is go out and run your best and see what that gets you,” Cron said. “And that’s what I did. Hopefully, I can get a little higher on the podium in the 300s (hurdles).”

He did exactly that, finishing fifth in in 39.35.

“I don’t think I ran a PR — I would have if I hadn’t hit the second hurdle,” Cron said. “That’s the thing about the hurdles. Anything can happen. I feel like I came back and redeemed myself after not making the finals last year.”

Jackie Siefring sets high goals for herself every time she runs.

So, the Covington junior was going to hide her feelings after her third-place finish in the D-III 300 hurdles at the state track and field championships Saturday at Jesse Owens Stadium.

“I am not going to lie to you and say I am not disappointed,” Siefring said. “I come to the state meet to win.”

Siefring couldn’t fault her efforts. Her time of 44.42 was faster than her fast qualifying time of 44.58 on Friday.

But, it was the first time Siefring had runners in front of her in the 300 hurdles all season.

“I haven’t had that all season,” Siefring said. “I tried to make it up on the curve, but I just couldn’t get it together today. It was just one of those days.”

Defending state champion Cassidy McCullough of River ran a 43.27 and Sydney Stoll of Edon ran a 44.36. Both girls are seniors.

“Both of those girls ran great races,” Siefring said. “I have nothing to hang my head about. I matched where I finished last year. I want to come back next year and win it. I just feel very blessed to be here.”

Siefring's effort in the 300 meter hurdles was good for her second medal of the state meet as she placed fourth in the long jump with a distance of 17-05.

Both Covington’s distance runners scored points Saturday.

Tara Snipes finished her career with a fifth-place finish in the 800 in 2:17.29.

“I said I wanted to finish higher this year and I did that,” Snipes, who was eighth a year ago. “It was a fast race. I probably went out a little too fast. It was a hard race to get position, because everybody was so close together. I wanted to finish higher than last year and run a 2:15. I accomplished one of those two things. I just wanted to be a good representative of Covington today — I think I did that.”

Freshman Carly Shell completed an impressive debut season with a sixth-place finish in the 3,200 in 11:16.04.

“It was amazing just to run in this stadium,” Shell said. “I was so nervous, I thought I was going to throw up before the race. I was really happy with my race. There were a couple laps where I dropped back to eighth and I was determined I was going to stay in that position. I just want to improve my times and if I can get back here to state, improve where I finish on the podium.”

Ryan Craft competes in the high jump.
Tara Snipes finished fifth in the 800 meter run.