COLUMBUS, Ohio — There may never be a better chance than now.
There has only been one podium finish in the history of the Eastern girls track and field program, but that may very well change this weekend during the 2014 Division III OHSAA Track and Field Championships at Jesse Owens Stadium in Franklin County.
The Lady Eagles have been relatively close to top-8 finishes over the last few years, but Melissa Nutter is still the only female from EHS to ever finish on the podium at the state meet.
This year, however, the Lady Eagles will have four athletes in four events, with three of those four having competed at Jesse Owens Stadium just one year ago. The quartet also enters the weekend with top-10 qualifying times in each event.
Half of Eastern’s four events are relays, with seniors Maddie Rigsby and Keri Lawrence, junior Taylor Palmer and freshman Laura Pullins competing in both the 4x400m and 4x8oom competitions.
The foursome owns the third fastest time headed into the 4x800m final on Friday and also possesses the sixth best qualifying time entering the 4x400m semifinals.
Pullins – the lone newcomer to Jesse Owens Stadium – also heads into Friday’s high jump final in a five-way tie for third place by regional qualifiers, which puts her in the top-7 going in.
Lawrence, like Pullins, will compete in a third event as she enters the 800m final Saturday with the ninth fastest qualifying time.
No girls from Southern or South Gallia qualified for the D-3 state meet.
Nutter, a 1987 graduate, competed twice in the shot put event at state in both 1986 and 1987.
Neither Eastern, South Gallia nor Southern had a state qualifier on the boys side in D-3. Meigs also came up empty in the Division II tournament, marking the first time since the 2005 campaign that no Meigs County boy qualified for the state meet.