By Joe Scalzo
Badger sophomore Jennilyn Krumpe hails from a town so small that when people ask her where it is, her point of reference is a adjoining school district too small to field a football team.
“I usually have to say ‘Do you know where Maplewood is at?’” she said. “If they say no, I say, ‘Then do you know where YSU’s at? Yeah, well, we’re 30 minutes from that.’”
Kinsman is big enough to have its own Facebook page and small enough to have absolutely nothing on it.
But on Saturday afternoon, in the 400-meter dash of the Division III state track and field meet, Krumpe added to the athletic tradition of a school best known for the Blaney brothers.
In the first state final of her career, Krumpe took what had barely allowed herself to dream about and made it a reality, becoming the first Badger girl to win a state track title.
“Once I see my coach, it will finally click in but right now, it’s just blowing my mind,” said Krumpe.
Krumpe’s time of 58.05 barely edged Dayton Christian’s Mary Carr (58.33) and, because 400 runners stay in their lanes the whole race, she wasn’t even sure she won when she crossed the finish line.
“I had to ask the ladies [at the finish line],” she said. “I was like, ‘What place did I get?’ And she’s like, ‘Honey, the tent’s over there.’ So I asked them, ‘Do you know what place I got?’ and when they told me, I was like, ‘What?’
“It was ... I don’t even ... it was weird. It’s taken a long time to adjust.”
Krumpe was the Valley’s only Division III champion on Saturday but Maplewood junior Wyatt Hartman came excruciatingly close. Hartman broke the state 1600 record with a time of 4:13.35. Problem was, St. Thomas Aquinas junior Cory Glines did too, finishing first in 4:12.93 on a blustery day where few records fell.
“I knew if I could hang on Glines, maybe I could out-kick him but that didn’t work out so well,” said Hartman, who also broke Jerry Walker’s 32-year-old school record. “Us and Aquinas is always a big rivalry. Rivalries are good. They push you. They make you go when you don’t want to go and they make you hang on to someone when you feel like giving up.”
Hartman took the area’s only silver and South Range’s Andrew O’Leary had the lone bronze, which came in the 400.
“I was trying to stay with the front of the pack, get in good position on the turn and give it everything I had in the last 100,” O’Leary said. “The times were a little slow because of the wind but I’m really satisfied with my place.”