XENIA — Reaghan Wakefield didn’t have much to say when she found out how long it had been since a Xenia female high jumper placed at state.
It’s not that Wakefield — who placed fourth at last weekend’s Division I state championship becoming the first XHS placer in 39 years — didn’t want to react.
She just couldn’t muster up too many words.
“Wow,” the Central State University-bound senior said Tuesday after a long pause. “I’m lost for words. That’s crazy, crazy.”
But it’s true. True.
Monica Scott, who tied for fifth in 1982, was the last female high jumper to make it to the podium at state, according to Ohio High School Athletic Association archives.
Wakefield cleared 5 feet, 5 inches at state, matching a personal best. At first she didn’t think that was high enough.
“I thought I had to go more because there was still competition,” Wakefield said. “(And) I never placed state-wise. I was trying to get as high up there as I could possibly get to.”
It ended up being plenty. Victoria Lanese of Mentor was the state champ at 5-8 while 5-4 earned the last spot on the podium.
“I was happy and excited,” Wakefield said. “And it was my last year, so I was just very happy.”
As a sophomore, Wakefield was 13th at 5 feet, 2 inches and was Xenia’s first girls state qualifier since 2013, when Africa Strodes qualified in the long jump and the 400-meter relay team of Strodes, Tiese Carr, Mekayla Pullens, and Tatum Washington made it to Columbus and finished third.
There was no track and field season last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. So Wakefield knew she had to make the most of her last high school season.
“I was working (hard),” she said. “I was going to different places to (work with) different coaches.”
It paid off.
Wakefield jumped 5-5 early in the season and was first at the early season Wayne Warrior Relays and Troy Herb Hartman meet.
“I really got going,” she said.
Wakefield also won the Miami Valley League title and was first at the Troy district championship before finishing third at the regional. Wakefield placed in every meet in which she participated and was able to get in a full season of action, despite COVID and its restrictions.
“It was one crazy season, for real,” Wakefield said.
You don’t say?
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.