Greenville’s Balsbaugh, Kolling end seasons at state meet

By Kyle Shaner kshaner@civitasmedia.com

June 7, 2014

COLUMBUS — Greenville senior Harmony Kolling and junior Aaron Balsbaugh relished their opportunities to compete at the state track and field meet on Saturday afternoon at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.

Kolling competed in the Division I girls pole vault at the Ohio High School Athletic Association state meet and finished ninth by clearing 11 feet 6 inches.

“I’m satisfied with how I did,” the Lady Wave senior said. “It was a good season.”

As one of three Darke County girls in the state pole vault competition, Kolling had the best vault among the trio. The tough Division I competition kept her one spot out of podium position, however.

Kolling reached new heights during her senior season and set a personal-best mark two weeks ago when she cleared 11 feet 10 inches in the district pole vault competition, which was a district and school record.

She also made the state meet for the first time in her four years of high school, achieving her goal of finishing her career at the state meet in Columbus.

“I think I did just about as good as I could do, and I think that four years finally paid off,” Kolling said of her high school career.

Balsbaugh finished 12th in the Division I boys 800-meter run with a time of 1:55.37. It was an exciting experience competing at state, he said, and a good motivator to push him to make it back next year.

“Definitely very exciting,” the Green Wave junior said. “I’m looking forward to maybe being back here next year, knowing more of what I need to do.”

Balsbaugh, who set the school record of 1:53.82 in the 800 meters at last week’s regional meet, was replaying the state championship race in his mind and thinking of what he could have done differently after Saturday’s competition.

“Definitely I should have been out a little bit quicker than I did,” he said. “But these guys are fast. It’s hard to compete when you try to have a slower first time so you can have a faster second. Obviously it wasn’t what I needed to do today.”

The Greenville runner, who started on the inside lane Saturday, got boxed in by his 15 competitors at times during the race. It was tough to make a move with his position and the level of talent in the race, he said.

“I tried to get out in lane two there on that straightaway when everyone else cut in, so I wouldn’t get boxed in,” Balsbaugh said. “But then people kept coming in and I should have tried to get out even further than I was. But I got out of it over there on that third corner, but I just couldn’t catch anyone, too far behind.”

For complete results from the OHSAA state track and field meet, visit ohsaa.org.