Bridget Doughty and Akron Buchtel’s Tiffany Tucker lean at the
finish line during the finals of the girls Division II 100 hurdles
last Saturday afternoon in Columbus. In a photo finish, Tucker
edged out Doughty by .08 seconds. (Photo courtesy of John Zangmeister)
trio shines at state track finals
By Jim Horvath
Published June 11, 2008
old saying goes “Close only counts in horseshoes.”
Saturday in Columbus, three of the Westshore’s finest
track athletes brushed that notion aside like so much old news.
Freshman Bridget Doughty, junior Jessica Zangmeister and junior
Katie Nageotte all claimed runner-up honors in their respective
events at the Ohio State Track and Field Meet at Jesse Owens Memorial
Doughty, the district and regional champion from Bay
who had not lost a final in the 100 hurdles the entire season, took
second in Saturday’s Division II championship race with a time of
14.88. The winner, Tiffany Tucker of Akron Buchtel, took first by
the narrowest of margins with a time of 14.80.
Zangmeister, Fairview’s distance ace, went up against
a familiar foe in Katie Gillespe of Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy
in the Division II 3200. Gillespe won the event with a time of 11:00.71,
with Zangmeister coming in a strong second with a time of 11:07.85.
Olmsted Falls’ Nageotte, who had the best qualifying
vault of the 16 entrants in the Division I pole vault, found herself
in a one-on-one battle against defending state champ Kelsie Ahbe
of Green. Ahbe, also a junior, and Nageotte both set a new state
record with vaults of 12-4. Green, however, had two fewer misses
during the competition and was awarded the championship.
It was a memorable finish for all three athletes,
who dominated their events throughout the regular season and seemed
to peak for their run to Columbus.
“I’m happy with my performance today,” said Doughty.
“I really don’t know what to say. That was my best performance of
the year in the 100.”
While she didn’t win the state title, she did break
her sister’s school record of 14.89. Rachel Doughty set that mark
with her second-place finish at state last season. She didn’t fare
quite as well in the 300 hurdles, settling for fourth place with
a time of 44.82. Tucker won that race as well with her time of :43.97.
“The wind was a factor, so my steps were off a bit,”
said the younger Doughty, who ran in lane seven. “I usually like
having an inside lane, but being outside helped today because I
didn’t want to chase. I went all out and closed it out pretty strong.”
Zangmeister of Fairview pulls away from the pack and looks to
track down front-running Katie Gillespe of Cuyahoga Valley Christian
Academy in last Saturday’s girls Division II 3200 in Columbus.
(Photo courtesy of John Zangmeister)
Zangmeister found herself in a familiar position against
Gillespe, who sprinted away from the pack early and was able to
maintain a sizable lead throughout the entire race. In the regional
meet, Zangmeister was able to close during the final three laps
to finish within a whisker of the CVCA junior.
Last Saturday, however, Gillespe wouldn’t let that
happen. She finished strong, despite running in her second race
of the day, the other being an equally dominating effort in the
“I think I went out at about the same pace,” said
Zangmeister, who led the rest of the pack the first few laps before
pulling away in search of Gillespe.
“I wanted to be more consistent with my approach,
then try to reel her in,” said Zangmeister. “Last week the weather
was a lot hotter, and I was able to catch up. It was a lot cooler
today, so she was able to stay strong the entire way.
“I started making my move around lap three, but she
was able to keep it up. I’ve got to give her credit. She didn’t
want to settle for just a win, and she came back strong after running
the 1600. But I’m really happy with the way I ran the race. I think
with the experience I’ve gained comes the ability to believe in
my abilities. I can’t get caught up in anything else or I won’t
run my best race,” she said.
Nageotte, trying to improve on a sixth-place finish
a year ago, was able to duplicate her 12-4 she recorded at the Amherst
regional. But a pair of misses at
11-8 gave her
a total of four on the day, with Ahbe missing just two.
After the second miss at 11-8, Nageotte’s usual
smile was replaced by a look of concern. But she credited her Falls
teammate, junior Sarah Radeff, for working a little “magic” before
her third attempt.
That “magic” worked, as Nageotte cleared the
third attempt easily and moved on from there to her state runner-
“Things were kind of nerve racking today,” admitted
Nageotte. “For some reason I was kind of stressing a bit. I kept
telling myself I’ve done this a million times before, and I can
do it again.
“Sarah was a big help. She told me we always
had times where we’d clear the bar on the third attempt this year.
She gave me a little magic, and it worked for me. Once I got into
it, I got relaxed and everything was fine from there,” she said.
Nageotte also said her father Mark, who unexpectedly
passed away last September, was with her during every vault.
“He’s always been my biggest fan,” she said.
“Vaulting without him has been pretty tough. He’s always still with
me, though. I’ve got his name on my shoe, and I touch it before
“He’s always standing right by the pit, and I
can always hear his voice. It’s like he’s flying with me while I’m
up there,” she added, with her usual smile.