Lady Hornets 4×200 relay claims Division 3 state championship

Published 12:20 am Saturday, June 1, 2024

TOP: Coal Grove Lady Hornets 4×200 meter relay team stands atop the podium after winning the state championship. BOTTOM: Lady Hornets 4×200 relay team members are, left to right, Madison McDaniel, Laura Hamm, Kylie Montgomery and Olivia Kingrey.



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DAYTON — The Coal Grove Lady Hornets have been chasing a state championship in track for four years. On Friday, they finally grabbed the gold ring.

The Lady Hornets 4×200 meter relay team of Kylie Montgomery, Olivia Kingrey, Laura Hamm and Madison McDaniel  captured first place with a 1:42.25 clocking at the Division 3 state track meet at the University of Dayton’s Welcome Stadium.

The group had the best preliminary time of 1:42.93 but ran an even faster time in the finals as they finished just ahead of Margaretta which ran a 1:42.71 time in an exciting finish.

All four Lady Hornets runners are seniors and they continued to break the school record in the race each time they ran in the tournament.

Montgomery said she was nervous before the race but went back into normal mode once the starter gun sounded.

“I’m feeling great,” said Montgomery who ran the leadoff leg. “It was a very nerve-racking experience. I was kind of dazed out getting set in my blocks. After the gun shot off it was like it always is. I just focus on trying to catch the girl in front of my.

“It was very exciting and it was close, but we had a pretty strong team put together so it came out real well.”

Kingrey was excited with the state title as would be expected ands gave credit to her teammates.

“I’m excited that we won the state title and extremely grateful I had the best teammates to run it with me,” said Kingrey. “Doing it in our last race made it extra special. It felt like the previous four years all came together in that moment.”

Kingrey said she wasn’t as nervous as she was determined.

“During the race, I told myself, ‘This is it. I HAVE to get ahead. I HAVE to win my last race,” she said. “Watching my teammates run made me so happy. I could tell they were doing exactly what they needed to do and that we would win.”

Montgomery added to her day as she placed in the 400 meter dash. Montgomery had a time of 59.04 seconds to finish seventh after she had ran in the 4×200 relay.

“My legs felt real heavy today. It wasn’t my best time. I feel happy that I was able to PR (personal record) at the region this year,” said Montgomery.

The winning time was by Olivia Hudson of Oberlin with a time of 56.38 seconds.

Montgomery wasn’t the only one on the team with another race to run.

Hamm pushed her way through the 800 meters and came away with a fourth place finish as she posted a clocking of 2:17.28 which is one of the top 50 times in the state this season.

Although Hamm was happy with her finish in the 800, the state title was at the forefront.

“Winning the state 4×200 relay was an amazing accomplishment and it goes to show that all the hard work and effort that my teammates and I have put into this sport over the last four years has paid off,” said Hamm.

Hamm admitted she was anxious until it came for her time to carry the baton, no pun intended.

“Once the baton was in my hand, the only thing I was focused on was getting it to our anchor, Maddie,” said Hamm.

“I could see two girls in the outside lanes slightly ahead of me, but I knew that I could hand it off at a similar time compared to the other teams. Maddie would take care of the rest and that was exactly what happened.”

All four girls are headed to college on scholarships. Montgomery and Hamm are going to Rio Grande, McDaniel to Northern Kentucky and Kingrey is going to Marshall on a Yeager Academic Scholarship.

“The four of us seniors have been working and training together since we were in the seventh grade. We have broken numerous school records, meet records and conference records together and we have never lost a conference or district meet,” said Hamm.

“Being able to win this state championship on the last race we will ever run together was the best way to end our high school careers.”

Rock Hill Redmen junior Izaak Cox finished third in the 200 meters with a time of 22.35 seconds. Cox — who won the state long jump title on Thursday — finished just behind Evan Hudson of Oberlin at 22.02 seconds and Gabe Oppong of Tree of Life Christian who had a 22.13 clocking.

Cox was fifth in the preliminaries on Thursday with a near-identical time of 22.36 seconds.

(Will Be Updated)