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McDonald’s Hipple ends high school track career with two solo podium appearances

Correspondent photo / Robert Hayes. McDonald senior Megan Hipple keeps pace during the 1600m on Saturday at the OHSAA state track and field meet at Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus, claiming second place at 4:59.35.

COLUMBUS — It wasn’t exactly the first place day she previously experienced, but McDonald senior Megan Hipple felt no regrets about the way her high school career concluded.

Making the difficult decision to compete in both the 1600 and 3200 during a single day, on a scorching hot morning in Columbus no less, Hipple set out and accomplished what she wanted to achieve — stand on the podium twice as an individual.

With a second-place time of 4:59.35 during the 1600 and a third-place finish of 11:12.51 in the 3200, the Blue Devils senior was beyond happy with the results.

“The nerves were a lot worse today because this was my first year doing two individual events, I’ve always just done a relay and an individual at state,” said Hipple. “This is my year to show people what I can do. I’ve been very careful with my recovery and my nutrition, all of that stuff to make sure I was as healthy as I could be for state.

“For me, it’s an accomplishment to podium in two events.”

Last June, Hipple took the 3200 crown, all while competing on the McDonald’s 4x800m relay team. Committed to the University of Akron, she knew the time to show out for her last high school meet was there.

“Once I started the 3200, I started to feel the heat and knew I was going to have to fight for it, and I think I did that,” Hipple said. “Everybody has different strategies to race, and you have to know what yours is and following through with it, you can’t get sucked up into the moment and go all crazy.

“I’m very proud of myself and all of the other girls that ran in this race, especially in the heat. This is something that takes a lot of heart to do. You have to really be into this to do this.”

Finishing neatly three seconds ahead of third-place finisher Lauren Sattler in the 1600, the 3200 ended with a cluster of various athletes, all closely battling for podium positions after.

Maplewood junior Caleigh Richards routed the rest of the field in the 3200. Less than a full second separated second through sixth place.

Hipple wrote the final chapter of her lineage at McDonald, one of the more historic programs in the Mahoning Valley. Following her final event, she felt no regrets about the way her career transpired.

“I’ve been to state all three years for track, and all four years in cross country, so I’m very happy with my accomplishments as a runner,” said Hipple. “I’m so excited to be a good role model for the next generation beneath me, hopefully in a couple of years I can come back and guide them positively.”

Up next, Hipple is excited to don the navy and gold of the Akron Zips.

“There’s a couple of girls that I’ve run against before and I know they’re phenomenal athletes,” she said. “So, I’m really excited to go out and get a new ballpark to run in. Experience new things, it’s just exciting. New accomplishments to come.”

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