Former softball player wins shot at Division III regional
A Western Reserve junior won the high jump at 5-5.
By JOE SCALZO
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NAVARRE -- Tiffany Hack thought she'd give it a shot.
Last spring, Hack was talking to Mineral Ridge teammate Alex White when she picked up the shot and threw it-- just to see how she'd do.
She threw it 37 feet -- two inches off the school record.
"I had played softball for three years, and I did just about everything I could," Hack said. "I thought I'd try [throwing]."
Good decision. Hack threw 38-11 to win the shot at Wednesday's Division III regional at Fairless High School.
Maplewood senior Christen Clemson -- the defending state discus champion -- finished third with a throw of 36-111/4.
The top four finishers in each event advance to next weekend's state championship in Dayton.
"I haven't had a really good day in awhile," Hack, a senior, said. "But finally it just flew off, and I knew it was going.
"I just walked away smiling."
She wasn't the only one.
Western Reserve junior Anna Marie Ricciardi jumped 5-5 to win the high jump. Ricciardi, who set a district meet record last week with a jump of 5-61/4, made three attempts at 5-7.
The first two weren't close. The third one was.
"The first two were not good -- don't say anything about those," Ricciardi said with a laugh. "But the third one was really good. I think, no, I know I can get [5-7], it's just a matter of getting my legs over."
Ricciardi has advanced to state for three straight years. The experience helps, she said.
"I don't really get nervous anymore," she said. "My freshman year, I was super nervous, and I did horrible. That pretty well got rid of my nerves."
Ricciardi got a challenge from Waynedale junior Brittany Stowers, who jumped 5-4.
"That helped," she said. "It's always easier to jump when you have someone pushing you."
Maplewood freshman Jen Grayson finished third with a jump of 5-3.
Badger's 4x800 relay team of Tessa Bonar, Christine Miller, Ashley Miller and Amanda Myers finished fourth to advance to state in the day's only running final.
McDonald's relay team originally took second, but was disqualified for stepping on the white line. Runners are allowed up to three consecutive steps on the line. An official ruled that a McDonald runner took five steps.