In 2017 during her sophomore campaign, Garaway hurdler Carly Jacobs dominated all year in the 300 hurdles. She qualified for state in the 300s as well as the 100-meter hurdles, then went to the Div. III state meet and somehow managed to pull off a top-eight finish in the 100s while failing to make All-Ohio in her favorite race, the 300s.
This year Jacobs was even more dominant in both events, especially in the 300, where she won nearly every race in which she participated.
So when the state meet came around, and she once again qualified for both races, it was hard to say what might take place.
On Thursday, May 31 in the Div. III preliminaries in the 100-meter hurdles, Jacobs didn’t run well, failing to qualify for the finals by placing 12th.
It was a major shock and disappointment for the girl who had placed on the podium in that event one year ago.
That left the 300-meter hurdles as redemption, and Jacobs wasn’t about to go home empty-handed. She fired out of the blocks, kept surging throughout the race and eventually passed up a pair of runners late with a huge, perfectly-timed lean at the wire leading her to a runner-up finish.
It was a fitting retribution in both missing the finals of the 300 a year ago and the disappointment of not making the finals in the 100s this season.
“I didn’t qualify for the finals in the 100s, so I told myself I was going to put it on the track in the 300s,” Jacobs said. “Not making the finals in the 100 was a disappointment. I went from podium to not even qualifying. It was very frustrating, but I knew I had to just wipe it off and go on to the next race.”
Jacobs said she has trained hard all year for this moment in the 300, and ever since she failed to make the podium when she clipped a hurdle in the finals and placed ninth last year, she has been spurred to prepare that much harder for the moment to reclaim a spot high atop the podium.
In the 300s Jacobs ran a time of 44.70 as she lunged for the finish line along with Wheelersburg’s Ellie Ruby (44.71), Mount Gillead’s Allison Johnson (44.72) and Grand Valley’s Allie Holmes (44.78). Champion Olivia Carpenter of Northridge won handily in 44.16, but the push for second through fifth was extremely close. Jacobs’ monster lean at the wire sent her from fourth to second.
The look on her face as she watched the timing board at the finish line went from concern, to astonishment, to sheer joy as she raised her arms triumphantly and roared to the Garaway fans in the stands.
“It was about the place,” Jacobs said. “It wasn’t my best time, but as I crossed the finish line, I felt people right there next to me, and I knew I had to really make a push.”
If Jacobs had to finish second to anyone, she said she couldn’t have picked a better runner than Carpenter, with whom she trains in the off-season.
“I’m so happy for Olivia, and I am very proud of myself,” Jacobs said.
Now the junior will turn her attention to preparing for next season, where she will make every effort she can to find her way to the podium in both the 100 and 300 hurdles.
In the 300s, five of the top seven runners graduate this year including Carpenter and Ruby. With her tenacity and work ethic, the sky is the limit for Jacobs, who already understands what it takes to make the state podium in both races.