COLUMBUS — Long jump is an event of feet and inches.
For Van Wert senior Megan Braun, it’s been a matter of just a couple inches the past couple seasons.
The previous two seasons, Braun just missed qualifying for the Division II state track-and-field meet in the long jump.
This season, Braun more than just qualified. Last week, Braun won the regional title at Piqua and came into this weekend’s state meet as the No. 1 seed.
On Saturday, Braun won the state title with a mark of 17 feet, 10 ¼ inches. Eastwood senior Katelyn Meyer was a close second with a jump of 17-10.
“They (Saturday’s jumps) weren’t my best, but I did what I needed to do to get first, and to get the job done,” Braun said. “It’s an unbelievable dream come true to finally get No. 1 in the long jump in state competition.”
Braun’s personal-best is 18-5. However, she wasn’t overly concerned on beating her PR on Saturday.
“I came in (to the state meet) seeded first and I wanted it,” she said. “I didn’t want to just be here. I wanted to break that 18 (-foot) mark, but I didn’t get it today. But I jumped as far as I needed to in order to get first place.”
Added Van Wert jumps coach Ben Laudick, “It’s been a journey for her. Her sophomore year, she was a half-inch short of qualifying for state. Then, last year as a junior, she was a couple inches short of making it as well.
“To get here, we’re excited about it. But at the same time, she had some pretty high goals for herself this year. To (get on) podium, was one of them. But, to be on top of the podium, that’s pretty wild.”
Braun also competed in the 400 and was on the 1,600-meter relay.
In the 400, Braun placed fifth (58 seconds). The 1,600 relay (Cassidy Meyers, Julia Springer, Caylee Phillips and Braun) finished seventh (4:04.67).
Braun said she thrives competing under pressure.
“Coach always says, ‘You’re in the driver’s seat. You control how this goes’,” she said.
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