Sometimes the bigger a stage gets, the smaller competitors feel, and they can get swallowed up by the moment.
When the moment arrived for West Holmes freshman Katie Sprang, she was more than willing to step up and meet the challenge head on.
Sprang gathered with 15 other runners at the Div. II regional track and field meet at Muskingum University, and when it came time to run the 800 for the right to move on to state, she just went out and posted her best time of the season to move on to state.
From the starter’s gun Sprang looked more than ready and bolted to the front of the pack after 200 meters in the 800 and challenged for the title the entire race.
With a pack of six runners crammed together over the final 150 meters, Sprang grabbed the inside lane and tried to hang on for the win. She was caught at the wire by Indian Creek’s Aiamyia Dudley, a surprise winner who came into the race with just the seventh-best time in the field. Her 2:16.09 inched past Sprang’s runner-up effort of 2:16.67, and Sprang was able to fend off the hard-charging Kelsey Lewis of Indian Creek, who finished in 2:16.74.
Sprang has been sensational all season, and her rookie year keeps getting better and better as she carves off time, setting a PR in her biggest race to date.
“This feels really good. I have just been trying to improve each and every week, and I keep doing that, so we’ll see how it goes next week,” Sprang said after PRing yet again.
While she got nipped at the wire, she wasn’t upset. “The goal coming in is to simply move on, and that happened, so I’m happy with it,” Sprang said. “It was actually a good, competitive race, and I enjoy that challenge.”
Sprang could compete in any number of races from the 400 to the 3200, but she said the 800 is her favorite, and the results this year would not disagree with her assessment that it is her best race.
Now she has parlayed her talent into a trip to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus, where she gets a chance to shine against the top runners in Div. II. The freshman has already proven that no stage is too big for her, and she is looking forward to the next stage, the big stage.
“It will be new for me, but I am excited to see what it holds,” Sprang said of state. “It’s the same race, the same distance I’ve run all year, and I am looking forward to the challenge.”