COLUMBUS, Ohio — The final chapter of storybook careers.
Laura Pullins, Alia Hayes and Jett Facemyer already have their diplomas in hand and are signed to continue their collegiate track and field endeavours, but each of those newly-minted Eastern alums still have one piece of business left to take care of at the high school level.
Pullins, Hayes and Facemyer will take part in the OHSAA Division III state championships on Friday and Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, a scene that all three Eagles are very familiar with.
Making her fourth state appearance is Laura Pullins — a Marietta College signee — is in the state high jump finals for the third time, and will compete at 4 p.m. on Friday. Pullins, the 14th jumper, enters competition with a mark of 5 feet, 4 inches, which is tied for seventh best with three other athletes.
Pullins, one of eight seniors in the state final field, claimed third place in last week’s Region 11 championships at Fairfield Union High School. In her previous state high jump tries, Pullins has 10th and 11th place finishes. As a freshman Laura cleared 5-2, while clearing 5-0 at the state meet last year.
Pullins has finished on the podium twice at the state meet, both in relays in her freshman season. Her top-finish was a fourth place mark claimed by the 4x800m relay team in 2014.
A three-time state qualifier Hayes — a St. Louis University signee — is making her second consecutive trip in the shot put and will also compete on Friday at 4 p.m. Hayes, one of 10 seniors in the event, enters competition with a mark of 36 feet, 11 inches, the shortest in the field of 16. Alia will be the first thrower in the first flight.
Last spring at the state meet, Hayes’ mark of 36-11.25 placed her 10th in the shot put, her best finish at the state. Hayes was the fourth and final qualifier from last week’s Region 11 meet at FUHS.
On Saturday at 10:55 a.m. Facemyer — an Otterbein University signee — will make his third straight 800m run state final. Facemyer is one of eight seniors in the event and enters with a qualifying time of 1:59.75, the 15th fastest among the 16 competitors.
Jett was 12th in the 800m run last spring with a time of 1:59.10, while taking 14th as a sophomore with a time of 2:02.54. Facemyer claimed the fourth qualifying spot in the Region 11 qualifier last week at Fairfield Union.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.