Kassidy Betzing

Meigs senior Kassidy Betzing (center) finished third in the Division II long jump on Saturday during the 2019 State Track and Field Tournament with a jump of 17 feet, 8 inches. She is a four-time all-Ohioan.

Note: This recap appears in the Sunday, June 2 newspaper on Page B1.

COLUMBUS — Kassidy Betzing admitted that she thought her Meigs Marauder career was over.

Betzing’s best first-round jump measured only 16 feet, 1 inch. She had to wait for the second flight of long jumpers to find out if she would advance to the finals.

“I fouled twice,” Betzing said. “Couldn’t get a good third jump in. I thought I was done. Everyone was over there crying with me.”

Betzing eventually found out that she had qualified for the finals, barely.

The Meigs senior made the most of her second chance, ultimately finishing in third place in the Division II long jump at the 2019 State Track and Field Tournament inside Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Betzing’s best jump of 17 feet, 8 inches allowed her to earn all-Ohio status for the fourth season in a row.

“It’s not bad,” Betzing said, with a smile, at four all-Ohio finishes. “There’s been years where obviously I wanted to do better, but you have those days. You just have to roll with it.”

Betzing, who will join the Ohio University track and field team next season, finished in seventh place in Division II as a freshman, second as a sophomore and fourth as a junior.

Betzing was slowed by a leg injury that she said she suffered last Friday before the regional tournament. The injury forced her to withdraw from the 100 meter finals, and also caused her to pass on her final two jumps when she already had a spot in the state tournament wrapped up.

“It was really bothering me then so I didn’t jump as much (at regionals),” Betzing said. “I’ve been resting, physical therapy, everything this week but it was still bothering me. I’m happy I was able to jump, honestly. I’m surprised.”

Betzing’s best jump of the first flight was her second attempt, 16 feet, 1 inch. She was fourth as the second heat started, but eventually fell to ninth. Only nine individuals advance to the finals.

The plot thickened when Laurel’s Claire Fedor had a jump of exactly 16 feet, 1 inch on her final attempt of the second flight.

Betzing and Fedor were tied, and 10 individuals ended up advancing to the finals.

Betzing had new life.

“They ran over and said that I made it,” she said. “Obviously, I had to get a good jump in since I had the chance to.”

Betzing’s first jump of the finals was 17 feet, 4.75 inches, jumping her to third place and essentially securing a spot on the all-Ohio podium.

“Something was happening to where it’s allowing me to be able to do it,” Betzing said of her opportunity to jump in the finals. “I knew that I had to get a good one in.”

Betzing’s best jump of 17-8 was her fifth attempt, allowing her to get ahead of Perkins junior Olivia Howard (17 feet, 7 inches). Betzing’s final attempt was a foul.

Betzing wasn’t far from the leaders. Toledo Central Catholic senior Simone Green won the state title at 17 feet, 9.50 inches. Beachwood junior Ashley Perryman was runner-up at 17 feet, 9 inches.

It was a roller-coaster of emotions for Betzing, who almost didn’t make the finals but then came an inch and a half away from first place.

“Not exactly what I wanted, but I’ll take it,” she said.

At the end of the day, Betzing was able to take her familiar spot on the podium and win a final all-Ohio medal. Her last day in a Marauder uniform was memorable.

“I had so many people here watching me,” Betzing said. “It’s your senior year, you want to do great. It’s your last year, last meet as a high schooler, so I don’t know. I just wanted to do great.”

Email at kwiseman@athensmessenger.com; follow on Twitter @KevinWmessenger

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