As a sophomore in her first appearance at the Div. II state track and field championships in Columbus, Daysia Hargrave felt a tad overwhelmed when she prepared to compete in the preliminaries in both the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles. However, Hargrave shook off the nerves and qualified for the finals in both events by securing the ninth and final spot in the 100 and eighth in the 300.
Then with nerves on high in front of a giant crowd for the finals, she performed again, grabbing the eighth and final spot on the podium to become a two-time All-Ohioan.
Once on the podium, all the nerves were gone, replaced by a 1,000-watt smile that couldn’t hide the joy she was experiencing.
“This feels really great,” Hargrave said following the 100. “Now next year I feel like I know what I need to do since this was my first year of doing the 100 hurdles. I know where I need to work, and it is awesome to get this experience now so I know what to fine tune. The nerves become less the more you experience things like this, so it was a wonderful experience.”
As for the 300 meters, a race she sees as her better race, she followed suit, made the finals and took eighth, making for one heck of a weekend as she returns to Orrville a two-time All-Ohioan.
She said while hard work and athletic ability go a long way, she wouldn’t be where she is today alone. “I am extremely thankful for everything my coaches did for me, and I am grateful just to be here,” Hargrave said. “I have come so far this year. I was four-stepping in between hurdles, and now I am three-stepping. My starts need to improve. That is something I quickly realized after watching these girls down here.”
Her run in the 300s actually took a great deal of guts because she was trailing the field by quite a bit heading down the homestretch. She turned on the jets and sailed past a runner to claim eighth.
“I just kept thinking that there was no way I was finishing last,” she said with a laugh. “I was not getting last. I can usually finish pretty strong, but I definitely had to reach deep for that finish. That was hard.”
The weekend accomplishments were enthralling, and it also showed the sophomore how she can work her way up the podium the next two years. She is excited about the possibilities.
Those possibilities and hard work allowed her to head back to Red Rider Country wearing a big smile and a pair of nice pieces of memorabilia.