By Carol McIntire
COLUMBUS – Alivia Bentley vaulted from third to first place on her final throw to become the Division I girls state shot put champion Saturday in Jesse Owens Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.
She became the third Carrollton Warrior in the last two years to earn a state track championship. Cole Lovett and Maddie Dunlap won state titles in 2017.
Bentley’s throw of 45’11.25” earned her the title and was 1.5” better than the second place throw of Lenea Browder of Troy.
Bentley placed seventh in the shot put in Division II last year.
Earlier in the day Bentley, who is a junior, earned the runner-up spot on the podium in the discus with a distance of 137’7” inches. Browder won the title with a throw of 145’ 2. Bentley placed ninth in the discus last year as a sophomore.
“Winning the state still hasn’t sunk in with me,” Bentley said Monday. “This season has been kind of rough. Everything has been on the road. We didn’t have a practice facility (due to the construction of the new Carrollton school) which made it rough.”
Bentley said she knew she had it within herself to throw the winning distance.
“I knew I could do it,” she said talking about walking onto the shot put pad for her final throw. “I was so happy when it hit the ground.”
She spent a lot of time this past year working on her technique with the goal of qualifying for the state tournament. “It takes a lot of time and effort,” she said.
Her goal for next year? To return to the podium.
“I’d like to go back and win both the shot and discus, but I know it won’t be easy,”: she said. “The girl who got second in the shot and first in the discus is a sophomore so I know she will be working hard with the same goal in mind.”
“I am so proud of the way Alivia handled herself,” said Coach Mike Aukerman. “I’d also like to give a huge shout out to Greg Shadle, our throwing coach. He and Alivia have put so much time and energy into the off season, in the weight room year round and in the ring. It was truly a team effort.”
Carrolton junior Micah Donley competed in the 200 and 400 later Friday evening after a rain and lightning delay forced the start of the Division I running events back about two hours.
She turned in times of 57.73 in the 400 and 25.91 in the 200, but did not qualify for the finals in either event.
Calob Dalton, Chase Flanagan and the 4×100 relay team of Dalton Flanagan, Jose Diaz and Bryce Carte also competed, but did not qualify for the finals in Division II.
Dalton set a new school record in the 200 with a time of 22.65 and finished 15th overall.
The 4×1 relay team turned in a time of 42.90, their second best of the year, but missed the finals by .08 seconds. Last year, Dalton, Flanagan and Diaz placed sixth as members of the 4×1 relay team to become All-Ohioans.
Flanagan “tweaked” his ankle on his second jump and finished 12th overall in the long jump with a distance of 20’7.75”.
Aukerrman said it is sad to say goodbye to the seniors, Flanagan and Diaz, but noted the other four state qualifiers will return next season.
“Chase and Jose are multiple time state qualifiers and will always be remembered as the first spring relay team climb the podium. Being All-Ohioan will always stay with them as well,” he said.