Colleen Steinmetz signs on to Findlay track and field program


By Drew Terhall

ANSONIA — Ansonia senior Colleen Steinmetz signed her National Letter of Intent to join the University of Findlay track and field team and compete in the pole vault.

Steinmetz said the Findlay pole vault program and their Doctor of Physical Therapy Program drew her to Findlay. It also helps she is familiar with the university since she has competed there for years.

“I’m going there for their exercise science program and to become a Doctor of PT. They have a great PT program. It was something I really wanted to do,” Steinmetz said. “Great college. I’ve been jumping there since seventh grade. It feels like home.”

Pole vault coach Steve Shellhaas said he’s coached Steinmetz since she was in the seventh grade. He has seen the hours upon hours Steinmetz puts in at the pole vault barn.

All of the work has turned her into the athlete she is today.

“She’s extremely talented in the vault. She’s a great kid. It’s been a blessing to have an athlete that has put the hours in that she’s put in. You see the results, you see her heights but a lot of that is the work that she’s put in. Countless hours on the runway and vaulting is what made her work ethic that has allowed her to the athlete that she is,” Shellhaas said.

Steinmetz’s work ethic and accomplishments has helped bring excitement to the Ansonia girls track and field program.

Ansonia girls track and field head coach Craig Riethman said Steinmetz being a consistent competitor at the state level has brought excitement to the program. Her work ethic can serve as an example of how much hard work can pay off.

“Colleen has been unbelievably consistent with her work effort with going to the barn with Steve and Micah. She’s laying the groundwork of if you put the time in, you can accomplish something. And she did,” Riethman said.

In her three years competing in the pole vault, she has won multiple league titles, district titles and has been a regional champion twice and a regional runner-up.

At the Division III state level, she was a state runner-up her freshman and junior year. In her sophomore year, she finished third.

Steinmetz said she’s going to go into her first year at Findlay with an open mind. Riethman said he thinks Steinmetz understands the difference in levels from a competing, and even from a practice, stand point between high school and college.

She is ready try her best and see where she falls.

“I want to go into with an open mind. New coaches and new facilities, just getting kind of a feel (for it). I don’t really have any expectations because I’m coming lower than most of the girls,” Steinmetz said.

Shellhaas said Steinmetz is going to a great program at Findlay. He has known the pole vault coach, Clint Dillon, for years. Steinmetz said Dillon has been around the program a few times and is familiar with him.

Shellhaas said there is still some more untapped potential with Steinmetz and Findlay can help get the most out of her. Even in her senior year, Shellhaas is ready to work with Steinmetz on accomplishing some more goals.

“Probably one of the best places in Ohio to go jump right now is Findlay. She’s got a bright future ahead of her for sure. I see more heights coming,” Shellhaas said. “We’re not done yet this year ether. We got more goals this year that we want to hit.”

Before she heads to Findlay, Steinmetz is ready to enjoy her last season at Ansonia. Her and Shellhaas both said they have winning a state championship on the mind this season.

At the very least, Steinmetz is going to continue to put the work in and see where her best efforts puts her.

“My goal is to go out there and win state this year. And maybe jump 13’, hopefully. Just go out there, maybe PR and just see what happens,” Steinmetz said.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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