Tigers’ Kline wins shot put crown
By ERIC MAUK
Izzy Kline capped one of the most trying days in recent memory at the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Track Championships by earning a state title in the girls shot put, just 10 minutes after the Newton Falls senior had to walk away from a chance to claim a medal in the high jump.
Kline found herself in the rare position of trying to win a Division III state championship in two events at the same time Friday afternoon, as the shot put and the high jump were scheduled for the same 4 p.m. start.
“It was something I had never done at the state meet for sure,” Kline explained about the unique double duty. “I was a little nervous but I was really looking forward to it.”
She used her final effort of the day to complete her title quest, launching the shot 46 feet, three inches to wrest the gold medal from Leipsic’s Grace Rigel on her final throw of the meet. Kline earned her first state championship after finishing second in the event a year ago.
“I just told myself when I went into the circle that I wanted to walk out a state champion and was going to give it everything I had,” Kline said. “Now that I have done it, I can’t even explain how it feels. It is great.”
The senior, who finished fourth in the discus earlier in the afternoon, started by easily advancing to the shot put finals with a preliminary round throw of 44 feet, one inch. Kline then got a golf-cart ride inside the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium to join the high-jump event.
But an afternoon storm forced a two-hour suspension of the meet as Kline was breezing through her first two heights. When the event resumed, the Tiger passed 5-2 on her third try and was contending for a medal, before she had to retire from the event in order to get to the shot put finals.
“I was upset that I had to quit because I felt I could have gotten 5-4,” Kline lamented. “But I wanted to be a state champion, and I knew that I had to be there so in the end it was an easy decision.”