COLUMBUS — Jenny Seas was due.
A runner-up finish her freshman year, third-place finish her sophomore year. It was Seas’ time Saturday. The Peebles junior distance runner claimed the OHSAA Division III State Track and Field title at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at Ohio State University in the 3,200 meters and did so in convincing fashion. Seas ran a time of 11:04.93, besting the field by nearly nine seconds.
“This has been one of my goals, so I’m really, really happy about it,” Seas told Stephen Forsha of the Highland County Press.
According to Forsha who was at the meet, Seas closely trailed eventual fourth-place finisher Addie Engel of Springfield Catholic Central after the first of eight laps, but Seas went on to lead each of the next seven laps before winning the race by nearly nine seconds with a time of 11:04.93.
Seas’ first lap was 1:19.41, followed by laps of 1:22.37, 1:21.73 and 1:22.70 for a 5:26.19 mile split. For her second mile, Seas had lap times of 1:23.65, 1:24.69, 1:24.61 and 1:25.81 for the 11:04.93 finish.
Following the race, Seas said that her legs started to feel “dead” by the end of the race, as the eighth lap was her slowest.
“The first mile felt pretty good,” Seas said. “I feel like this happened last time at the state meet – I don’t know if it’s just a big meet and the nerves get to me or something – but my legs near the end started feeling dead. The last lap, I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to have to dig deep for this one.’ I guess I had a big enough lead, so I don’t know if [runner-up Emma Watcke] was catching me or not, but I felt really, really dead. I guess I had a big enough gap to hold on, and I’m really happy about it.”
Seas has been rather dominant in her junior year, beating out runner-up Emma Watcke from Minster with a time of 11:13.45 to claim second in Saturday’s race. She’s claimed region, district and Southern Hills Athletic Conference titles in the 3,200. It even started before that in her junior running season, having a lot of success in cross country in the fall. Seas closed out the cross country season with a first-place finish in the District meet, beating the field by 1:09 and running away with the Southern Hills Athletic Conference end of season meet, beating a field of 55 runners by 1:48. An injury cut off aspirations from there after the district meet and was unable to compete in the regional and state meets.
“It was really nice [to win], especially because I’m coming off an injury and didn’t get to run at the state meet for cross-country,” Seas told Forsha on Saturday. “To come here and win is really, really exciting. I’d like to thank my coach and my mom, who also helped coach me, for working with me.”
Seas’ older brother Matt, put in a podium finish as well, placing fifth in the final race of his high school career. Matt finished in a time of 9:37.17. Colonel Crawford’s Chad Johnson placed first in the race, setting an OHSAA Division III state record with a finishing time of 9:05.43. The finish earned Matt back-to-back podium finishes at the state meet, finishing eighth last year. Coming into the meet, Matt was aiming for a top-five finish according to his coach Tyler Wilson and was able to accomplish that goal.
Matt will continue his running and academic career at Case Western Reserve University in the fall.