JUNE 6, 2014 - COLUMBUS
Jackie Siefring became the first female Covington athlete to ever win a state championship in track on Friday, winning the long jump with a leap of 18 feet and 3/4 of an inch - a distance that came on her final jump.
It was an accomplishment that even shocked Siefring, as she felt she would likely have to wait until Saturday to make history in the hurdles.
"I never expected to win state in the long jump, not at all," said Siefring as she was swarmed by media after leaving the medal stand. "Actually, I never came into this weekend with many expectations other than doing my best. That way I knew I'd never come away disappointed. It took a lot of the pressure off."
Siefring has suffered through more than her fair share of disappointment over the past year as she was disqualified in the 100 meter hurdles at regional as a junior and then suffered a horrendous knee injury two weeks later in summer basketball - an injury that required complete reconstruction of her ACL.
Through intense training and rehabilitation, Siefring, who had to sit out her senior season of basketball, returned to the track even stronger than a year ago. She won an indoor state title in March in the long jump and placed 5th in the 60 meter hurdles, seventh in the 60 meter dash and eighth in the 400 meter dash - all in her first time testing out her knee in real competition.
Then, throughout the regular track season Siefring dominated in every event she competed in, primarily focusing on the 100 and 300 meter hurdles - two events she felt gave her the best chance to make history in becoming the school's first female state champion in track.
On Friday, she kept her dream of winning those two events alive by advancing to Saturday finals with a time of 14.66 in the 100 meter hurdles and a time of 44.55 in the 300 meter hurdles - winning her heat in both events.
She enters Saturday's finals with the second fastest times in both events behind Morgan Rice of Warren JFK High School, last year's state champion in the 100 meter hurdles.
"I don't worry about times in the prelims, just advancing to the finals," Siefring said. "All of the girls here are great competitors, so to even be in the finals tomorrow is great. I'll do my best."