By John Bombatch
DAYTON — Carroll high jump coach Jeff Ross had been telling Patriots senior Julia Barbera that her mind and her muscles knew what they had to do to clear the bar. It was just a matter of getting Barbera to believe that when the pressure was on.
Mind over matter. Or in this case, mind over the high jump bar.
“Coach is really good about getting it into our heads that we know what we’re doing every time we jump. It’s just muscle memory by this time of the season. You don’t have to change anything, just jump and you’ll have good results,” Barbera said.
Barbera cleared the bar at 5 feet, 2 inches to finish second in Thursday’s Division II regional final at Dayton’s Perc Welcome Stadium.
“I’m so excited and so grateful to have this opportunity. I’m ecstatic that I was able to perform as well as coach trained us to, and that I knew I would,” Barbera said.
Ross said he knew Barbera could do it.
“She’s been over 5-1 or 5-2 for the last couple weeks pretty consistently, so it was just a matter of her having the confidence finish up today, with all the pressure in this meet,” Ross said. “But she did it, and we’re going to State next week!”As Barbera was stepping off of the awards podium, the Carroll girls 3,200-meter relay team of Christina Kallet, Hannah Ritter, Ellie Rumme and Maria McCarty were making their way to the awards podium. Upon realizing that each other had booked themselves a trip to Columbus, the five Patriots exchanged hugs and high fives.
The 3,200-meter team finished third in their Division II final to also claim a spot in the state championship field.
Asked to describe what it meant to qualify to the state meet, Ritter was all business.
“It means that we have to keep working hard and to give it our all in every race we have left,” she said.
“We’re going to have probably one hard workout in order to keep our endurance up, but we also need to focus on having a positive mind set about going to state,” Kallet said. “… We have to get ourselves ready physically and emotionally. And if we really have it in our hearts that we can do well at state, we can put ourselves on the podium.”
On Thursday, regional finals were contested in five field events (girls high jump, shot put and discus; and boys pole vault, long jump and discus) and in the two 3,200 meter relays. All the other events determined Saturday’s regional championship event lineups.
Carroll’s boys track and field athletes competed in the Division II regionals in Lexington, Ohio, located northeast of Dayton up around Mansfield. (No results were available at presstime of how their first day went. We’ll post results as soon as we can.)
The second day of the Dayton regional will get under way Saturday at 11 a.m. with field event finals. Running finals will start at 12:30 p.m. at Welcome Stadium.
Carroll girls student athletes scheduled to compete in Saturday’s Regional finals are:
800 Relay — Carroll (Listed as Julia Barbera, Elise Paietta, Haley Sabo, Helena Ballard, but a runner subbed in for Barbera); 1,600 run — Maria McCarty, Carroll; 400 Dash — Rachel Stute, Greenon; Ocean Morris, Greeneview; 800 run — Kristina Kallet, Carroll; 200 dash — Stute, Greenon; 3,200 Run — Claire Farrell, Carroll; 1,600 Relay — Carroll (Kallet, Sabo, Nyanjok Mawein, Barbera); Greenevew (Olivia Maxwell, Jessica Folino, Morris, Alex Hansen).