It isn’t a bad problem to have.
The five girls competed in four different events including two relays and two individual events and came away with some hardware. The 4x400-meter relay team took sixth place in the Division III state championship race on Saturday as the youngsters saw their season come to an end on the biggest state of the sport.
Meghan Hedrick, Lily Dowdell, Gabby Scavuzzo and Olivia Powers all went away from the 2-day state track and field championships as All-Ohioans after their sixth place finish. They ran a smooth 4:03.82 in the relay to give them a nice finish to the season.
“It is amazing to share this experience with my teammates,” Scavuzzo said. “We have all been working on this moment since we were freshmen and to have Lily join us this year was really special.”
As Powers looked down at her medal, she couldn’t help but to feel a sense of accomplishment.
“It feels like all of the hard work that we have put in all season long has really paid off and we see the result right in front of us,” Powers said. “Throughout the season, we have continued to gain more and more confidence in ourselves and each other. We have grown mentally tougher every day and we have grown closer as a team which helps us with motivating each other every day.”
Herdick had similar thoughts, but she saw a lot of growth from Day 1.
“I am very proud of how far we have come as a relay team,” Hedrick said. “We have grown so much throughout this entire season and we finished very well.”
Powers was the anchor again on Saturday after running the final leg in Friday’s preliminaries. On Friday, she had to be helped off of the track after getting off to a very fast start and not having much left in the tank at the end. She ran the quickest lap of the race on Saturday with a lightning fast 58.57.
“I ran a little smarter today,” Powers said. “Last night, I sat down and reviewed how I should run today and I am very happy with how it went.”
Hedrick and Dowdell advanced in individual events as well with Hedrick running the 800 and Dowdell taking on the 1,600. Dowdell, a freshman, was able to get the state-finals jitters out of the way in her race as she took 11th in the race with a 5:27.79.
“That was my first state finals race as an individual,” Dowdell said. “I knew going out there I had to give it my all and it really boosted my confidence and I finally had a race under my belt. I just wanted to come back and go even harder to try and win it for my team.”
Hedrick finished her 800 race in 2:20.14 and a 12th place finish. She was also a part of the state final qualifying 4x100 team with Powers, Scavuzzo and senior Emily Baker.
“To be able to qualify in three events then come back out here and run with my team, it made this whole experience that much better,” Hedrick said.
The 4x100 team took ninth place with a 51.66.
With everyone returning to the 4x400 team, the expectations are set high for next season.
“This experience is a huge thing that cannot be taught,” Hedrick said. “This is our second year here so we have no excused anymore. It is a whole different game going into next season.”
“We have to keep working hard even in the offseason,” Dowdell said. “We know it is all worth it in the end; we see that today.”
“We want to just continue to do our best and hopefully get faster,” Scavuzzo said. “That is always a goal. We can never stop getting faster.”