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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Local athletes quest ends at State

Monday, June 8, 2009

Greencastle's Caitlin Gannaway launches a throw during the shot put event at the IHSAA state finals Saturday. Her throw of 40-feet-5-inches [Order this photo]
As a junior last year, Greencastle High School track team member Caitlin Gannaway fell one position short of making it to the final round of the shot put at the state finals.

Going into Saturday's state finals at Indiana University's Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex, she was once again seeded in the middle of a group of 27 girls vying for the state crown.

After her best throw of 40-feet-5-inches, she was faced with having to wait to see if she qualified for the finals.

A wait that would become nerve racking for Gannaway.

After the final flight was completed and the results were in, Gannaway was the final athlete to make the cut.

"I came here with the intention of being among the ten finalists, but I was nervous because I had to sit and wait for the final flight," said Gannaway.

Gannaway wasn't the only Putnam County athlete faced with a wait for results. Cloverdale High School senior Elizabeth Cheatham threw in the first flight of nine girls Saturday.

As a first time competitor at the state finals, Cheatham said she was just excited to be there.

Cheatham's best throw was 34-feet-10.25-inches. Even though she didn't make the finals, she said it was a good experience.

"I was excited to be one of 27 girls that had the opportunity to take part in the state finals," said Cheatham.

As the last one in the finals, Gannaway threw first. After three throws, she was not in a medalist position.

Her mark of 40-feet-5-inches was the second best throw of her career though, just eight inches shy of the school record set earlier this year at the conference meet.

"I guess when you put it that way it was a pretty good day," said Gannaway.

In the fall, Gannaway will be a freshman at the University of Indianapolis, where she will be throwing shot for the track team.

"I am excited to be throwing in college," she said.

Also competing Saturday for Greencastle High School was senior Dee Wood in the 100-meter dash. She qualified for the state finals by running a 12.73 at regionals, seeding her in the first flight of runners Saturday.

Wood finished 17th on the day with a time of 12.68, faster than her qualifying time.

"I am very pleased with the efforts of both of the girls," said coach Garry Anderson. "There are a lot of schools that don't even get the opportunity to send representitives here.

"It was really close," he continued. "If Dee would have run a tenth quicker she would have made the finals, and if Gannaway would have thrown an inch further she would have medaled."

Anderson said the other athletes at the high school and middle school look up to the girls and strive to do the same. With a sense of confidence he said, they will be back.