Rigaud, Maslowski, 4×100, 4×200, and 4×400 relays reach the podium

COLUMBUS – Steubenville Catholic Central’s Taylor Zapolnik, Michaela Gotta, Monica Rigaud and Kara Kakascik stood on the podium three times in three relay events during Saturday’s Division III Ohio State Track and Field Championships at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at Ohio State University.

Crusaders senior Doug Maslowski finished sixth in the 110 hurdles to make podium for the second year in a row in the event.

Rigaud stood the tallest after she finished second in the 100 hurdles in 15.39.

“I’m proud of that,” she said. “I accomplished my goal of getting back to the finals and finishing higher than I did last year.”

Rigaud took fourth in the event a season ago.

Morgan Rice of Warren JFK won the race in 14.81.

“Since she’s a junior, we get to see each other next year, too,” said Rigaud. “It will be good to have someone like her to push me.

“I felt good today. My goal was to get out fast, but I didn’t get out as fast as I’d like. But, I’m happy with second. I’m very happy.

“I was nervous before the race. But, once I’m in the blocks, it’s all gone.”

Central’s foursome finished fourth in the 4×200 (1:45.77), sixth in the 4×100 (50.54) and eighth in the 4×400 (4:06.54) and they did so running in the same order in all three races – Gotta to Rigaud to Kakascik to Zapolnik.

“We made podium in all three relays and that is something to be proud of,” said Gotta, a senior.

Zapolnik, also a senior, agreed.

“It’s an honor to finish your season here and to get on podium three times is special,” she said.

State championship weekend is tough physically and mentally.

“These two days are tougher emotionally and I’m an emotional person as it is,” said Gotta.

“It’s also hard because I’m a senior and today was my last race in everything.

“I’m thankful for today. I’m thankful we made it here and I’m thankful we made podium three times, but it’s also really hard physically, too.

“This is what we aim for at the beginning of the year. You can’t ask for anything better than to finish your season at states. We didn’t expect to be here and podium in all three relays. We used all the talent that God gave us.”

Gotta and Zapolnik stood on the podium as sophomores and wanted to get back there.

“We got on the podium in all three relays, which I think is something we should be very proud of and we continued the reputation of the Central girls track program,” said Zapolnik. “To do all of this in two days is crazy. It’s emotionally tough and physically tough. It’s a struggle, but I think it’s more mental than physical.

“It helps coming here before knowing how this meet runs, how loud this stadium is, what the schedule is and what we have to do to get ready for races.”

Said Kakascik, “This was amazing. It was very exciting. These two days went faster than I could ever imagine.

“I wish I could have done better, but we did well as a team at states to medal three times.”

For Rigaud, she now holds five medals.

“This is a great weekend,” she said. “It’s also a very tiring weekend – it’s emotionally draining. I’m looking forward to working hard for the opportunity to come back here next year. “

Maslowski approached the day as an athlete, not as an injured athlete.

“It’s the most disappointed I’ve been in a while,” he said after his 15.11.

Maslowski said finishing sixth wouldn’t have been a problem if he were healthy and that was the best he could do.

But, that wasn’t the case.

“People say this is a good accomplishment considering my injuries and what I’ve gone through, but I don’t really take that into consideration,” he said. “I didn’t win.

“I look at myself as how I could have been, not how I am now. My time would have been a lot better than the winning time if I was healthy.

“It’s just very, very disappointing.”