Wildcat duo ready for state

MARIETTA – To many people, Ally Rohrer and Maddy Sury are one in the same.

“People mistake us for each other all the time,” Rohrer said. “We look alike. We run the same.”

This weekend, track athletes from all over Ohio will have plenty of opportunities to tell the Waterford duo apart, as Rohrer and Sury will compete in a total of five events at the state meet in Columbus.

Rohrer will compete in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles along with the 200 meter dash, while Sury will look to place eighth or higher in the 800 meter run and the long jump.

Rohrer is the first Lady Wildcat in school history to compete in three events at the state level.

“It’s an honor,” Rohrer said. “Everybody makes such a big deal out of it. Everybody has been really supportive.”

Rohrer, a Division III regional champion in the 100 hurdles, came into this season a very inexperienced hurdler.

After trying it briefly last season as a sophomore, Rohrer picked it up again this spring to help her train for the 200, mostly due to the urging of Waterford girls head coach Scott Miller.

“I told her ‘You’re going to do this,'” Miller laughed.

“She struggled at the beginning, but has really just taken a liking to it. I knew she would be good, but she has just taken off.”

“One day it just clicked,” Rohrer added.

Rohrer said she got some assistance from Waterford boys hurdler Austin Shriver.

“He was kind of my mentor,” she said.

There will plenty of motivation for Rohrer in her trip to state.

After getting to the state meet in the 400 meter run two years ago as a freshman, Rohrer finished fifth in the regional meet last year, ending her season early.

“That kind of gave me more drive,” she said.

Rohrer is hoping that hunger helps keep her focused in Columbus.

“I’m wanting to get a podium finish for sure,” she said.

While Rohrer will be looking for redemption, her teammate Sury is just excited for the opportunity.

“I’ve been working for this the whole track season,” Sury said. “It’s been one of my biggest dreams to get to Jesse Owens (Memorial) Stadium.”

Sury, a first-time qualifier for state in outdoor track, knows what she’ll be up against.

“I know how tough the girls there will be,” she explained. “I’m just hoping to PR and do my best.”

While Sury is a newcomer to the outdoor state track meet, it won’t be her first time competing at the state level in a sport.

Earlier this year, Sury and Rohrer were each part of the 4 by 400 relay team from Waterford, along with junior Maggie Kroll and freshman Lydia Beardsley, that qualified for state during the indoor track season.

Fort Frye will also send a pair of thin clads to state as Natalie Hart has qualified for the 400 meter run and Kylynn Buchanan will participate in the pole vault event.

Sally Maddox, the girls head coach at Warren, will lead one girl to state for the fourth consecutive time and another who will be making her first trip.

Emma Ryan qualified for the fourth consecutive year in the discuss throw and Maddox believes this may be Ryan’s best chance to date at earning a state crown as her throws this year are very competitive with those in the top five in the state.

“We’re really excited for Emma and four years in a row to state is a huge accomplishment,” said Maddox. “She’s placed all three times so the expectations are high for her again this year.”

Junior Raelyn Gardner earned her first trip to state in the pole vault event as she placed runner up in the regionals with a height of 11- feet.

Maddox feels Gardner should be right in the mix to place at Columbus.

“Her competition is very close, anywhere from 10 feet nine inches to 12 feet,” said Maddox. “It’s just going to be a matter of who can have a big day on the big stage. I look for her to rise to the occasion.”

Caldwell will be represented once again by Jenna Furr who returns to compete in the 3200 meter run a year after placing 11th in the state.