Garaway Track and Field

Jacobs’ incredible career won’t be defined by one-hundredth of a second

Carly Jacobs leaves Garaway as one of its all-time greats

Carly Jacobs might have been second in the 300-meter hurdles at state in Div. III, but she certainly showed the poise and attitude of a true champion.

One-hundredth of a second.

Some would say that is the blink of an eye.

That analogy in itself would be incorrect because the average blink of an eye takes approximately three-tenths of a second, therefore one one-hundredth of a second isn’t even enough time to blink your eye.

What one-hundredth of a second is enough time to do is fall from first to second place in the Div. III state track and field meet for the 300-meter-hurdles final race.

That is what happened to Garaway All-Ohioan Carly Jacobs on Saturday, June 1 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, where the two favorites, Jacobs and Grove City Christian senior Calista Manns, went side by side to the wire.

Jacobs held the tiniest of leads for about 298 meters, but with a final burst Manns surged ahead at the finish line, her time of 43.37 one-hundredth of a second ahead of Jacobs.

“I felt so good, so good,” Jacobs said. “That last stretch is where you just have to turn it on, and I did what I could. I think right before the finish line I fell apart a little bit, and that was where she came on. But that was a PR for me, and I am going to take that.”

This marks the first year that Jacobs and Manns haven’t trained together, so they know each other quite well. They both realized they would be the two battling to the bitter end.

Watching Jacobs’ body language as she put her hands on top of her head and turned toward the big scoreboard to see the times, it was evident she knew. She fully realized the one big goal she had hoped for over the past four years had eluded her.

The numbers came up. Manns turned and embraced her former training partner.

In the ultimate show of respect, Jacobs said Manns comforted her during their embrace, saying, “I love you. Do you know that?”

The heartbreak was obvious for Jacobs, but in true Jacobs form, she was not going to let a result rule her life.

“She’s a great person and deserves this,” Jacobs said of Manns. “Do I wish that was me up on top of the podium? Absolutely. But I ran the best I could run. I am going to put on a big smile up there and truly be happy with the effort I gave and the honor of being on that podium in second.”

Under the tent, awaiting the awards ceremony as Manns got treatment while she was prone on the ground, Jacobs approached her.

“All I ever wanted was to win the 300, but no, you couldn’t let me have even that,” Jacobs said, a broad grin plastered on her face.

The two friends laughed, and Jacobs stood on the penultimate spot on the podium, knowing she had come to state, competed at the top of her game, posted a PR and left everything she had on the track.

While she didn’t quite accomplish her dream, she did do something she had not done before, which was go All-Ohio in both the 100- and 200-meter hurdles in the same meet. In 2017 she got to the podium in the 100 while last year she did so in the 300. This year she achieved the goal of reaching All-Ohio status in both events.

In the 100-meter hurdle race, also won by Manns in 14.39, Jacobs finished seventh in 15.29, a sub-par race for a blazer who ran a 14.77 at regionals. However, a stiff headwind kept everyone’s times up a bit.

“Being on the podium in both events was a big deal for me since I hadn’t done it the past two years,” Jacobs said. “I’m happy to go out like this. I didn’t quite finish as high as I wanted to, but one of my goals coming in was to make podium in both events.”

It marks the final high school races for an athlete who put herself at the peak of Pirates’ all-time-great track and field athletes.

“This is the way I end my career here in high school. I’ll take it,” Jacobs said. “I loved every moment. It was special. Just because it didn’t quite end the way I had hoped doesn’t take anything away from the joy and the experience I had all of these years.”

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