COLUMBUS — The pain almost did him in.
But Ansonia’s Brock Shellhaas’ battle with his hamstring during the Division III boys state pole vault competition on Friday just like he has done all season. The sophomore, clearly in pain, fought his way to a fifth-place finish in the event to reach the podium for the second straight year. He cleared 14 feet 4 inches this season to earn the placement.
“Of course I would like to have won the event, but for how this season has gone I’ll take this,” Shellhaas said.
The injury occurred in January during the indoor track and field season, he said. And it just hasn’t felt right since.
“Today I went through a lot,” Shellhaas said. “It was a huge issue that made it hard for me to jump today. It was probably the most pain I’ve ever had to endure. If I was healthy I would like to think I would be on top of that podium, but I will just have to get healthy and come back next year ready to go for the gold.
“When you get on this stage at this level you just have to go as hard as you can,” he continued. “It was difficult to shut that pain out. It just wasn’t in God’s plan for me to be up there. I believe it was divine intervention that even allowed me to jump today with as much pain as I was in.”
Junior Matthew Shook also competed in the boys pole vault for Ansonia. He placed ninth with a jump of 13 feet 6 inches.
There was another local pole vaulter also making her way to stand on the podium for the first time. Franklin Monroe sophomore Selene Weaver was very happy to jump 11 feet and place sixth in the Division III girls state event.
“I am really happy with how my season came to an end,” Weaver said. “I didn’t know what it was going to be like coming into the season, but I have definitely improved a lot, and I hope to keep improving and that I will be back here again next year.”
Weaver said her goal coming in was to be on the podium, which she achieved.
“But with state you never know what’s going to happen,” she said. “Everyone performs differently. You never know what the weather will be like, and you never know how you are going to react to the huge audience. But I am very happy with how I finished.
“I honestly saw it as just another meet,” she continued. “It’s still just a pole vault pit, and it’s still just the same motions, so if I let that get into my head then I will not do well. I just kind of close my eyes and picture the stadium empty just like I am practicing, and that has worked for me so far.”
Arcanum competed in the boys 3,200-meter relay on Friday and finished 14th in a time of 8:20.06. The foursome included senior Chance Klipstine, juniors Tanner Delk and Justin Vanatta and freshman Landen Kreusch.
Klipstine and Delk also each competed in individual events. Klipstine placed 12th in the 800 run (1:58.96) and Delk ran in the 3,200 run, placing 15th (10:04.89).
Tri-Village junior Austin Bruner was the only other local competitor in Division III. He finished 15th in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.19 seconds.