Kirsten Clay smiles atop the podium on Friday as she claims the State title in Discus. (DHI Media/ Charlie Warnimont)
Kirsten Clay smiles atop the podium on Friday as she claims the State title in Discus. (DHI Media/ Charlie Warnimont)
COLUMBUS - Friday morning brought some mixed reactions to the Clay household.

The family was able to celebrate a state championship for Kirsten Clay and also had the honor of seeing son Austin Clay on the awards stand in the shot put, although there may have been some disappointment as they knew he was hoping to be higher on the awards stand.

All in all the two Van Wert throwers capped off fantastic seasons with medals dangling around their necks from the Division II state track and field championships at the Jesse Owens Stadium on the Ohio State University campus.

Kirsten Clay, a junior, was making her first appearance in the state discus competition and won the Division II championship with a top throw of 145-8. Her distance was a PR for the junior and a school record in the event. The moment was one that Kirsten had dreamed about since her childhood.

“It is awesome,”Clay said. “I’ve been coming to the state meet to watch since seventh grade, dreaming of first place and looking at those girls like I want to be like them. Coming out here, Pr’ing, setting a school record is amazing. 145 is crazy, that was my season goal was 145-150, I’m proud I got the 145, that’s good.”

Clay, whose top throw at the regionals was 135-11, hit her winning throw on her third throw of the prelims. She had opened with throw of 136-6 and 140-8. While she was competing she didn’t feel the big stage overwhelmed her that much.

“The environment here is way different than anything I’m used to,” Clay said. “There are a lot more people here and I was a little nervous, but I don’t think all the people affected me, it actually helped me. Popping that last throw (in prelims) was awesome and backing up that with a 144 on my last throw. It was a very good series.”

After throws of 138-9 and 139-10 in the finals, Clay capped off her title with a throw of 144-6. She won the event by nearly six feet as senior Caitlyn Marx of Salem was the runner-up at 140-0.

With a state championship under her belt, Clay is looking forward to her senior year and making it back to Columbus.

“I’m hoping to get back out here and do it again next year and go even further,” Clay said.

Clay will be back in action Saturday morning as she competes in the Division II state shot put competition along with teammate Jill Gemmer at 9;30 a.m.

As Kirsten Clay was competing Friday morning, Austin was a few feet away competing in the shot put. The older Clay didn’t accomplish his goal of standing on the top of the podium as he had hoped as he finished in third place.

“It’s not what I wanted, but it’s an improvement from last year,” Austin Clay said.”Last year I was 15th, so I was glad to bounce back and get third place.”

Clay finished third with a throw of 57-1/2 as all of his throws were between 55-5 and 56-9 on the day.

“I hit my big throw on the third throw of the prelims. I just wanted to make sure I got a nice one going into finals,”Clay said. “I believe I went in second and my last three attempts were two 55’s and one 56. It wasn’t the improvement I was looking for, but I still ended up in third place.”

Adam Riedinger, Spingfield Northwestern, won the shot put with a top throw of 59-7 1/2 and Noah Koch, Genoa, was second at 58-2 1/2.

“I know close to 60 would be on top of the podium,” Clay concluded. “It sucks, I didn’t hit that today. I did the best I could do today.”

Still the senior Clay was excited for his younger sister and what she accomplished today..

“She hasn’t been down here before and comes down and wins with a PR and school record,” Clay said.”I’m pretty happy for her.”

“I’m very proud of him.” Kirsten said.”I’m sure that’s not what he was expecting, but third place is still pretty awesome.”

Besides the two throwers competing for the Cougars Saturday, Blake Henry will compete in the high jump Saturday morning and Caylee Phillips will be in the 800 run Saturday afternoon.

Ottawa-Glandorf junior Grace Hoffman finished seventh in the field with a top throw of 126-10.