Last Saturday two Big Walnut High School senior jumpers attended the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches indoor state track and field championship at the University of Akron to compete in the triple jump.
Anna Mackey jumped 33 feet 5.5 inches for ninth place, and Sami Rammelsberg jumped 33 feet 0.25 inches.
Big Walnut’s girls track and field head coach Joe Evener said Mackey and Rammelsberg closed out the indoor season, and their indoor track careers, in terrific fashion.
“Between the two of them, they qualified to the indoor state track and field meet five times during their high school careers,” Evener said. “I know they were both disappointed that they didn’t get on the podium, but I know how much work they have put into triple jumping, and neither one of them has anything to be disappointed in. (Big Walnut jumps) Coach (Mike) Ryder and I couldn’t be prouder.”
Evener said Mackey’s jump was an indoor personal record that propelled her into the finals.
“We had to wait for four other jumpers to finish their final jumps to determine if she would be in the top nine,” Evener said. “When the last girl’s jump fell short, we were so excited. These girls take great pride in indoor track, and in everything else they do. The work they put into the indoor and outdoor seasons every year is incredible. Getting to the state indoor meet is a huge payoff.”
Evener said Ryder should be recognized for his efforts. Since the triple jump was added to the indoor state meet in 2009, Ryder has had 14 girls qualify in that event.
“That’s an amazing record,” Evener said. “Out of a possible 16 opportunities, he has made it happen 14 times. On top of that, he has had eight placers, including two champions.”
Evener said that’s only on the girls’ side, and only in that event. Add in the boy qualifiers in the triple jump, then add in the high jump and long jump, in which Ryder has had equal success, and it’s not hard to figure out why many consider him the best high school jumps coach in Ohio.
“Keep an eye on freshman Tori Rammelsberg, Sami’s sister,” Evener said. “She finished the season ranked in the top 30 in the triple jump, and I suspect she’s going to keep our streak alive and well over the next three years.
“Anna and Sami’s success brings the Big Walnut High School indoor track and field program’s total of indoor state qualifiers to 91 girls,” Evener added. “We’ve had 35 state placers, and five state champions. As a team, we have had six top 20 team indoor state placings.”
Evener said the association established the indoor state meet in 2005 to give indoor track athletes a championship caliber meet to finish out the season, because the Ohio High School Athletic Association does not recognize indoor track as one of its sports. The first year (2005), the meet was held at the University of Findlay; since then it has been held at the University of Akron’s Stiles Field House.
Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.