Talk about your carbon copies.
With a year of performing at the state level under her belt and having experienced nothing but success this season, Garaway All-Ohio hurdler Carly Jacobs is poised to take the next step in her evolution as a track star.
The junior had a tremendous day at the Perry Div. III regional on Friday, May 25, where she once again turned in two outstanding performances to pave the way back to state.
Jacobs sped her way to a second-place finish behind training partner Alexis Prater of Ridgewood in the 100-meter hurdles, then turned around and won the 300-meter hurdles, marking the same places finished in last season’s regional event on the same track.
“It was very similar to last year, only a better time,” Jacobs said following her victory in the 300-meter hurdles.
Little has changed from last season to this one, aside from the times getting a tad lower, and Jacobs will return to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus to try to chase down a pair of podium spots and maybe even a state title in Div. III.
Jacobs’ performance at the Div. III Perry High School regional was nothing short of sensational.
In the 100-meter hurdles Jacobs ran a 15.14, which bettered her time last year of 15.32. Last year’s 300 victory saw her cruise the track in 44.97 while this time around she blistered it in 44.61, meaning she set a new facility record at Perry High School.
That left Jacobs in a very satisfied mood as she celebrated a second straight trek to Columbus.
“It’s a new PR, so I am excited to do that at this point of the year, and I am so excited to be going back,” Jacobs said of her 300 time.
One reason she ran so fast was because she was forced to by Grand Valley’s Allie Holmes, whose time of 44.89 would have set a new facility mark too. Jacobs said having someone driving you is a factor in dropping time.
“Having competition helps,” Jacobs said. “You want that title so much, and you’ll do whatever you have to do to get it. Knowing she was right there on my shoulder really helped me.”
Her effort allowed Jacobs to check off two more goals this season, winning the 300 and placing second in the 100 at regionals. After qualifying for both last year and earning All-Ohio honors in the 100s, those were obvious goals.
Even so, she said she is grateful for another opportunity to run at state and won’t ever take that for granted.
A tremendous dance competitor, Jacobs said the two sports go hand-in-hand because the dance preparation provides great flexibility.
While she dances at competition with a smile pasted on her face to impress the judges, there is no smile while running, only that signature open-mouth style that she laughs at.
“I think that open mouth is my happy face, but it is also my fight-to-the-finish look,” Jacobs said with a chuckle. “Even when I lift, I do the same thing. I think it’s my fierce look for track. But that’s just how I run, and I’m fine with it. It’s part of who I am.”
If it helps her push aside opponents like she has this year, having lost very few times, she won’t care what her facial expression is.
“She is just such a huge competitor,” Garaway head coach Zach Mottice said. “She is one of those rare kids who has the ability to make everyone else around her work harder and perform better, just because of her work ethic and attitude. You just don’t run across that kind of an athlete every day, so as a coach, you really, truly appreciate when a kid like that comes along who is so dedicated and unassuming.”