Michelle Thomas, Glen Este junior, has joined the ranks of Clermont County high school state sports champions. She is the first GEHS female athlete to win a state crown as an individual.
Thomas won the Division I 3,200-meters run with a clocking of 10-minutes, 46.59-seconds. This time was a very impressive 16 seconds better than her seeded time of 11:03.
She said, “I was shocked. It’s kind of hard to believe.
“The race was not as fast as I thought it would be at the beginning. I was going to try to stay with the pack runners and then try to get ahead the last lap. When I passed her (Meredith Wagner of Sylvania Northview) I thought she’d pass me back. When I crossed (the finish line) I was so excited I couldn’t believe it.
"She was among the top three or four the whole way and moved up to second just before the last lap and then she went ahead and opened up the lead in the last lap," said Carson. "She's very talented and the hardest worker I've ever had...I was very happy at the end of the race. I kept jumping up and down."
The state champion continued, "I'm very happy I made my mom and dad (Sharon and Mike Thomas) proud of me and coach Angie and coach Holly (Schwalbach) have done so much I'm glad I made them happy, too. . . This was a great experience. It was really fun."
Autumn Schellenberger, Bethel-Tate senior, placed sixth in the Division II pole vault reaching a height of 11-feet, 3-inches, an impressive nine inches better than her seeded height.
John Berwanger, New Richmond senior, was eighth in Division II in the 100-meter high hurdles with a time of 15.18.
Amy Brown, Williamsburg senior, was a two-event state championship qualifier in Division III in the discus and shot put.
Arica Stutz, Felicity freshman, qualified for the Division III state championship in the 100-meter high hurdles.
Teamwise, in Division I, Glen Este was 17th among 67 teams that scored points with a total of 10 points.
In Division II, Bethel-Tate was 50th among the girls 67 scoring teams with three points. New Richmond was 63rd among the 68 boys squads that scored with its point.
Thomas joins a list of Clermont County's individual state track and field champions that include:
John Oester of Milford (1931) javelin throw (159-8), Meredith White of Milford (1935) shot put (45-11.5), LeRoy Smith of Batavia (1949) 440-yard run (51.6), Don Ogletree of Batavia (1964) 440-yard run (51.6), Lynn Beck of Batavia (1964) high jump (6-4), Don Ogletree of Batavia (1965) 220-yard dash (22.7), Dave Smith of Batavia (1965) 100-yard dash (10.1), Dave Smith of Batavia (1966) 100-yard dash (10.1), Grady Reid of Batavia (1971) 880-yard run (1:56.5), Gary Vipperman of Bethel-Tate (1972) two mile run (9:46.6), Dawn DeHart of Loveland (1982) discus (135-0), Dawn DeHart of Loveland (1983) discus (145-2) and shot put (42-9), Donna Russell of Williamsburg (1985) 1,600-meter run (5:06.65) and 800-meter run (2:17.78), Donna Russell of Williamsburg (1986) 1,600-meter run (5:05.93), Ron Perkins of Clermont Northeastern (1989) 800-meter run (1:57.55), Chris Harvey of Glen Este (1990) 1,600-meter run (9:20.65), Ben Bird of New Richmond (1991) discus (171-2), Tammy McCallum of Milford (1991) shot put (43-1.5), Ben Bird of New Richmond (1992) discus (188-4), Mark Slagle of Clermont Northeastern (1998) 300-meter intermediate hurdles (38.37), Judy Bataille of Felicity (2005) 100-meter dash (12.37), and Catherine Humphries of McNicholas (2007), a Williamsburg Township resident, 200-meter dash (24.95).