COLUMBUS – From the time AnneMarie Moses first picked up a pole, the end-goal had always been to place at the Division I OHSAA state meet.
And in her the final competition of her stellar multi-sport Fremont Ross career, Moses finally crossed out the top item on her to-do list.
Having cleared a pole vault of 12 feet, Moses closed out her career in fine style by standing tied in third place on the podium.
“It felt amazing,” said Moses, the program’s pole vault record-holder and Ohio State University signee. “That’s been my goal, all throughout high school to get on that podium. Now that I finally did it, in my senior year, I couldn’t think of a better way to end things.”
Moses’ final vault was bittersweet for pole vaulting coach Pryde Yost, whose also been a swim coach for Moses as well and has been coaching her since she was 3 years old.
“I’m going to miss the hell out of her,” he said. “But she lives right down the road from me. She’s not swimming in college, so she won’t be glued to the pool 24/7. She’ll come home, probably practice with us in the summer time.
“(Girls head coach Travis) Bates, at the awards banquet, said she’s basically my little sister, and she is. If you think about your sister, she’s always going to be around. I’m always going to be there. I’m getting teary-eyed right now.”
Bates also became emotional as he spoke about Moses and the prospect of no longer having her in the program.
“I’m probably going to shed some tears later when I hug her,” Bates said. “She’s a special kid. The hardest-working, old-school kind of a kid.”
After stepping off the podium with her medal around her neck, Moses said the realization still hadn’t hit her that her career in a Ross uniform at reached its conclusion.
“No, I don’t think so. I think it won’t hit me for a week or two, honestly,” she said. “I still feel like I’m a Little Giant. I’ll probably always feel like a Little Giant.”
Who needs six throws?
Once again, one throw is all Jason Burling needed.
In qualifying for the state meet shot put competition, Burling’s first throw at the regional meet was the only throw which he did not step out of the ring, committing a foul. But that throw placed him fourth and sent him on to Columbus.
Saturday afternoon, Burling did it again. He opened the shot put with a monstrous throw, reaching a new personal-best distance of 57 feet, 2.25 inches.
“It’s just the little things I need to fix and that’s what I did when I came out with the big throw,” Burling said. “It got me where I wanted to be.”
After that point, Burling foot continued to land outside the ring, but it didn’t matter. Burling’s lone qualifying throw earned him fourth place in the state.
“From practicing the last week or two, I knew he was coming around and hitting it good at the (beginning of the competition),” Bates said. “Earlier in the season, up through even districts, he was starting slow. At regionals we said ‘You have to make a statement,’ and he did. He came here and had a monster, 4-foot PR.
“He had a couple big throws later he got out of the ring on. He was on physically ready to go.”
Later in the afternoon, Burling competed in the discus where he finished 16th, with a distance of 151-09.
Bates believes the emotionally-charged first-portion of the day took its toll.
“I think it did, a little bit. I know it did for me. I was a mess,” Bates said. “The disc looked like it was going (to go far) but it didn’t take off.”
As one of just two non-seniors in the top five placers, Bates believes the best is yet to come for Burling.
For his part, Burling wasn’t quite ready to look ahead to next year. He just wanted to savor the view from the podium.
“It feels good,” he said. “A lot of people looking at you, notching who you are.”
Watson, Lindsey, relay also make the trip to state
Sarah Watson hadn’t been the Jesse Owens Stadium before, but she thought she knew what to expect. Yes, it’s the State Meet, but it’s still just a track meet, right?
Seeing it, however, was a different story.
“I kept thing, ‘Oh, it’s just another track meet, it’s no big deal,’ then I got here, and it was insane,” Watson said. “I’ve never seen so many people at a track meet. It’s just a tad (bigger). Just a few more people.”
Watson cleared 5 feet, 2 inches in the high jump. Though she could not clear 5-4 – her goal entering the competition – the junior did place 14th.
“It was fun,” she said. “It was a great experience. I’ll remember it the rest of my life. Maybe I’ll come back next year and up my legacy.”
In the long jump, senior Jazzele Lindsey placed 13th, with a leap of 16 feet, 6.50 inches.
Lindsey, along with Nadia Kirksey, Briana Morrisette and Jaydn Rozzell competed Friday evening in the 4×100 relay preliminaries. The relay, however, was disqualified for leaving the exchange zone on the third exchange of the baton.
DIVISION I STATE MEET
4×100 Relay: Nadia Kirksey, Briana Morrisette, Jazzele Lindsey, Jaydn Rozzell, DQ
High Jump: Sarah Watson, 14th, 5-02.00
Pole Vault: AnneMarie Moses, T-3rd, 12-00.00
Long Jump: Jazzele Lindsey, 13th, 16-06.50
Shot Put: Jason Burling, 4th, 57-02.25
Discus: Jason Burling, 16th, 151-09