OTTAWA — A little sibling rivalry can go a long way.
For the Clay siblings from Van Wert – Austin and Kirsten – throwing the shot put and discus has been one of the mainstays throughout their young lives.
Their father, Brian Clay, was a state runner-up in the shot put when he competed at Van Wert.
Now, many years later, his two children are making a name for themselves.
At Friday’s Ottawa-Glandorf Gold Medal Invitational, the Clays mopped up the hardware in the throwing events.
Kirsten won the discus with a school-record mark of 127 feet, 10 inches. Austin won both the discus (156-11) and shot put (55-11). He set a personal best in the shot put by three feet.
Last season as a sophomore, Austin made it to the Division II state track meet in the discus, where he placed 12th.
This season, Austin is looking forward to what lies ahead of him.
“Right now, I feel like I’m pretty strong in both (shot put and discus),” Austin said. “WBL is going to be a nice meet this year. I also want to get back to state.”
Kirsten fell short last season of making it to the state meet. However, this spring she is hoping to take it to the next level. Kirsten gives all the credit to her father and brother, on how they have worked with her and pushed her to get better.
“He’s been coaching us about every day,” she said about her father. “We do a lot of work during the offseason and during the season. We basically do all of our practicing together.”
In the final team standings Friday night at the O-G Gold Medal Invite, Oak Harbor won the boys title, ending the meet with 104 points. Liberty-Benton finished second with 103 points. Van Wert (98), Elida (96) and Otsego (47) rounded out the top five teams. There were 10 teams in the boys competition.
On the girls side, Van Wert slipped past Elida for the title, 94-87.33. Oak Harbor finished a close third with 77.33 points. Liberty-Benton (77) and Bath (71) rounded out the top five squads. There were 11 teams in the girls competition.
Lima Central Catholic senior Emily Sreenan dominated in the distance events, winning both the 1,600 – and 3,200-meter races.
In the 1,600, Sreenan had a winning time of 5 minutes, 29.29 seconds. The University of Dayton-bound Sreenan also won the 3,200 in 12:05.63.
Sreenan – a former state champion in cross country and multiple state-placer in track – had to really push in the latter part of both races to pull out the wins.
“It was good, especially since she was so close the whole race,” Sreenan said about Oak Harbor’s Hope Sievert, who finished at 5:29.69 in the 1,600. “I knew she was right there. So that kept me going hard the whole time, especially at the end there; because I normally don’t have to have a great kick at the end.”
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.