COLUMBUS - Steubenville Catholic Central had a really good day Friday at the Ohio State Track and Field Championships at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at Ohio State University.
After her teammates qualified for today's finals in five races - two individual and three relays - junior Moriah Vosteen stood on the podium after placing eighth in the Division III high jump.
"At least I made it," said Vosteen, who finished seventh in the same event a year ago. "Practice was bad this week. Either my shins were hurting or it wasn't coming together."
STRONG?SHOWING — Steubenville Catholic Central’s Moriah Vosteen finished eighth in the high jump.
STRONG?SHOWING — Central’s Doug Maslowski qualifies in the 110 hurdles.
STRONG?SHOWING — Central’s Michaela Gotta starts her team’s 4x200 relay.
STRONG?SHOWING — Central’s Monica Rigaud hands the baton to teammate Kara Kakascik in the 4x200.
Vosteen had to erase the week of practice from her memory.
"I didn't think about it, or I sang songs in my head to take my mind off of everything," she said. "I didn't want to think about anything."
Vosteen promptly cleared 4-10, 5-foot and 5-2 on her first attempts before bowing out at 5-3.
"I was really happy with that," she said. "They were good jumps.
"My goal was to make podium and I really wanted to get 5-4 because I've only cleared it once this season. But, making it on podium is good.
"I'm happy with today, just not extremely happy with it. It's something to be proud - to come to states and finish eighth.
"I still have next year."
Senior Doug Maslowski finished fourth in his 110 hurdles heat in 14.84 and eventually qualified sixth for today's final, where he took second last year.
His performance is quite remarkable considering what he has been through this season.
He has had a problem with his sacroiliac joint (SI joint) all year - in the back where the spine connects to the pelvis.
"It's really inflamed," he said. "I've been to every doctor you can think of. I've been to Pittsburgh, Weirton, Wheeling, Steubenville - everywhere around the area. I've been to doctors almost daily to try to be able to run.
"It started hurting about halfway through the race today. It really affected me - especially at the end, it was really hard to push through. It just wanted to shut down.
"Maybe it will be better tomorrow. It's when I have to do it because it's my last race."
Four Lady Crusaders will see the track a lot today.
Junior Monica Rigaud won her 100 hurdles heat in 15.28 to be seeded second. She has the third-fastest time behind Morgan Rice of Warren JFK (15.02) and Shay LaFollette of Bradford (15.14).
"I felt great," she said. "Every time I hurdle it's like a different race. Sometimes I feel good after and sometimes I feel terrible. Today, I felt really good after. I ran my best time so far this year."
Rigaud finished fourth in the race a year ago.
"Last year being here helped me a lot," she admitted. "But, my freshman year I was here as an alternate and it helped so much to be here just to get the feeling of this meet. "
She then partnered with seniors Michaela Gotta and Taylor Zapolnik and freshman Kara Kakascik to qualify for today's finals in the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 relays.
That's quite a feat since in prelim day, the 800, 1600 and 3200 are not run, which gives a buffer between the trio of relays.
"We had to prepare mentally between races because we went from one race to the other," said Gotta. "It's hard because we just finished one race and we had another one to run. It's a lot to handle sometimes, but it's good to get it over with and now on to tomorrow.
"I think it's tougher mentally than physically. For me, sometimes it's hard to just comprehend it all because it does go so quickly."
The Crusaders' 1:46.62 in the 4x200 is the fifth-fastest qualifying time. Tinora leads at 1:44.69.
"I felt great in the 4x2 and 4x1," said Rigaud. "We were a little rough in the 4x4. I could have pushed harder, but we just needed to qualify. We still have tomorrow. "
Central's 51.05 in the 4x100 also hands the foursome the fifth-fastest time. Versailles leads the group at 50.18.
Kakascik admitted she has leaned on the older athletes for guidance.
"They have helped me a lot," she said.
"They are really good motivators and keep me calm. I had a lot of nerves today. But, after my first face (4x200) I felt a lot better. It helped to finally get the first race in at states.
"Michaela helps us pray and that calms me down a lot when we pray before races.
"I am looking forward to tomorrow. Now that I have run, it's not as nerve-racking as I thought it would be."
Zapolnik is the anchor in the three relays, where the foursome has the same order.
"We didn't do that on purpose, it just worked out that way," she said. "We were going to change things up, but we kept it this way because we figured it would be better for handoffs and chemistry."
The quartet qualified seventh-best in the 4x400 at 4:06.08.
"It's really nice because of this being my senior year I didn't imagine qualifying in all three relays," said Zapolnik. "To be able to qualify in all three of them and go out tomorrow in my senior year is awesome."