COLUMBUS Out of all the Division III athletes in the state of Ohio, only one is a better long jumper than Waterford's Madison Sury.
Sury reached 17 feet, 6.5 inches in the long jump Friday at the Ohio state track meet at Jesse Owens Stadium to finish second and earn state champion runner-up honors.
Sury was bested only by Covington's Jackie Siefring, who marked 18-.75 on her final attempt to win the state title.
Photo by Jordan Holland
Waterford’s Maddy Sury attempts her third leap in the long jump finals at the Ohio state track meet at Jesse Owens Stadium Friday.
It was a bit of sweet redemption for the Waterford junior, who finished ninth in the same event at last season's state meet, just one spot from reaching the podium and making All-Ohio. She would not be denied this time around.
"I came in (thinking) 'Just can't get ninth again,' " Sury said.
"There's no words to describe this right now. There's just so many people that helped me."
Sury was also the regional runner-up last week in Lancaster. At that meet, her best distance was 16-8.75. She topped that by nearly a foot Friday.
"I had my dad and (teammate) Jacob (McCutcheon) here," Sury said. "They just helped me a bunch and it really all came together this year."
There were some familiar faces in this year's long jump crowd. Out of the eight athletes that placed ahead of Sury last year, four of them were back in this year's field, including Siefring. Sury stepped up her game and surprised some of her opponents.
After fouling on her first attempt, she hit the 17-6.5 mark on her second try. She fouled twice and reached 13-2 and 16-6.5 in her final four attempts, but had already secured her spot in the top two.
As a senior, Siefring will not compete in next year's long jump, making Sury the front-runner in next year's competition. Could a state title be in the works? Well, Sury isn't worried about that right now, as she has more business to attend to today.
"This year, it's gonna be anyone's game in the 800," Sury said. "We're all so close. I have more confidence now since I just made the podium in the long jump."
Sury earned all-state status in the 800 last year and is looking to duplicate that effort this season. She runs at 10:30 a.m. today.
Her teammate Ally Rohrer ran in the 100-meter hurdles preliminaries Friday and placed ninth to qualify for today's finals. She ran the event in 15.56 seconds. She will need to beat out at least one of her opponents in the finals to repeat as an All-Ohioan in the event. She finished just .02 seconds behind the seventh and eighth-place finishers in the prelims. The 100 hurdles finals begin at approximately 9:30 a.m. today.
Sury and Rohrer also teamed up, along with Maggie Kroll and Lydia Beardsley, in the 4 by 200-meter relay. They finished 12th with a time of 1:48.97, missing today's finals.
Fort Frye's Natalie Hart made her third consecutive trip to the state meet, this time in the 300-meter hurdles. She failed to qualify for the finals, finishing 16th with a time of 50.80. She suffered a setback after stumbling on the first hurdle.
On the boys side in Division III, Belpre's 4 by 100 relay team of Devin Daniell, Matt Colvin, Matt Lopreste and Sam Petty placed 14th in the prelims with a time of 44.82.
In Division II, Warren's 4 by 800 relay team of Matthew Neehouse, Colton Cantley, Brent Ash and Sam Goodman finished 16th in the finals with a time of 8:31.27. They ran an 8:18.45 at the regional meet in New Concord last week.
While the competition at state proved to be too much for some, it should be noted that just getting there and competing is a huge accomplishment that many athletes never achieve.
Joining Sury and Rohrer in finals action today will be Belpre's Cray Sistrunk, Warren's Raelyn Gardner and Caldwell's Jenna Furr.
The D-II girls pole vault begins at 9 a.m., when Gardner will look to become a two-time all-stater.
Sistrunk will run in the 1600 at 10:05 a.m. and Furr will compete in the 3200 at 11:25 a.m.