Kate Deaton entered the regional as a clear favorite to not only advance to the state meet, but to win a regional title.
The senior from National Trail didn’t disappoint in either aspect, although she did admit she didn’t throw her best.
Deaton won the discus throw at the Division III regional at Troy on Friday, May 30, and also placed third in the shot put two days earlier to advance to this week’s state tournament in both events.
Deaton will be joined at state by Twin Valley South’s Aaron Deaton, who placed fourth in the shot put.
“I’ve just been aiming hard to get a new one (record) and I think I put that (pressure) on me too much. So it didn’t start out good. I finally just relaxed a little bit and came kind of close. I could feel my heart pounding pretty good. I was getting little nervous there,” Kate Deaton said.
Her first throw of 118 feet, 5 inches was good enough to win, but it was her least farthest of her six throws.
Her official winning throw was 132-3, which was 14 feet farther than the second place finisher.
“I know I can throw farther than that,” she said. Her previous best is 140-2, which she threw at the Preble County meet earlier this year.
Deaton and her coach, John Lickfelt, each admitted they knew going into the regional she may not be pushed to give her best effort.
“It’s really different than like going to the state meet. I was lucky last year (at state) I PR’d on my very first throw, which I was trying to keep calm. I’m not used to having people up against me too close,” she said. “It’s hard. I’m not used to dealing with pressure.”
She didn’t have to.
This will mark her third trip to state in the discus and first in the shot put.
After having not reached the final during her sophomore season, she placed fifth last year and is looking to move up on the podium this year.
She will also be competing at the same venue where she will be competing next year in college.
“It will be cool to leave off where I’m going to pick up next year,” she said of throwing at Ohio State.
“I just want better than my best. That’s what it is always,” she said of her goals. “I just need to relax.”
Lickfelt is happy to see her advance.
“I’m very proud of her for shot put. She hadn’t made it to state yet in shot in her career. That is huge for her. She threw very well,” he said. “Overall, she is a very coachable kid. She’s a natural athlete and the work she puts in is unparalleled. She wants it. Obviously, she didn’t throw anywhere near what she can. But after seeing what everybody else was throwing, she kind of put it on cruise control.”
For Aaron Deaton, a sophomore, he didn’t have his best performance of the season, but it was good enough for him to move on.
“I just got out there and did the best I could,” he said of his toss of 48-5. “Unfortunately, I threw a PR, but I fouled it. It was a 50-footer. I threw a 48-5, which isn’t my best, but thankfully I got in there.”
He said he is looking forward to state.
“I’m really excited. I thank my coach. I thank God, and I’m very excited. Hard work paid off for me. I’m pretty pumped,” he said.
He also placed seventh in the discus.
“I wasn’t the best as I could have done, but still my PR would have gotten me to state,” he said. “I have two more years to improve on both shot put and discus, so hopefully I can get in there for both next year.”
Twin Valley South’s girls’ team entered the regional as the district champion and finished with three sixth place finishes.
Glen Mabry, girls’ coach at Twin Valley South, said his team did well this year, becoming runners-up in the league and the county and then district champions.
Three relay teams and four individuals qualified for the regional tournament. The 4x800 meter relay of Madison and Megan Wright and Abby and Lindsay Creech placed sixth at the regional tournament and broke their own school record of 10 minutes, 19 seconds with a time of 9:54.
Megan Wright placed sixth in the 1600-meter run and Madison Wright placed sixth in the 800-meter run, breaking the school record with a run of 2:22.
Abby Creech qualified for the regional tournament in the 800-meter run and Charis Grubbs qualified in the 100-meter hurdles.
The 4x200 meter relay and 4x400 meter relay teams also qualified for the regional tournament.
Mabry said he hopes the team will be stronger next year and said the team will get some help from their middle school program.
Mabry said the team is still young. 23 girls were on the team, 12 of whom were first-year varsity award winners.
“I know that a lot of them are excited about next year already, kind of determined to make that trip to Columbus,” Mabry said. “Team wise, I think we can be very successful next year with all the athletes we have returning.”
For National Trail’s girls, Andrea Hunt placed 6th in the long jump and the 4x400 relay failed to qualify for the finals.
For the Blazer boys, Austin Moore competed in the 100 meters and Cole Dudley ran the 1,600.
For Twin Valley South’s boys, Tristen Sizemore placed 6th in the discus. The 4x200 relay team did not reach the finals. Sammy Shockey competed in the 800 and Jordan Burns was in the pole vault. Luke Stoner ran in the 110 hurdles.
For Tri-County North, Megan McClain placed 8th in the high jump. Austin Johnson was called for a false start in the 300 hurdles and was disqualified.
The state meet will be held Friday and Saturday, June 6-7, at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Kate Deaton will compete in the discus Friday at 1 p.m. and the shot put at 4 p.m.
Aaron Deaton will compete in the shot put Friday at 1 p.m.