LaBrae’s Ervin, Badger’s Stanhope on podium twice

COLUMBUS — Dynesty Ervin has some memories of her childhood. It was when she was around 7 years old.

Her father, Anthony Johnson, was there coaching the young and soon-to-be LaBrae High School sprinter.

“He’s been with me since day one, pushing me and making sure I never give up,” Ervin said.

Johnson has been her sprint coach. On Saturday, he and the rest of the people attending the Division III state meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium saw the LaBrae sprinter finish second in the girls 200-meter dash and third in the 100.

“It felt great,” she said. ” All my hard work and dedication paid off. My next chapter is college.”

She’s competing at Cleveland State University next season.

Ervin wasn’t satisfied with her 100 time of 12.52 seconds.

“Finishing third is still a good success,” she said.

She wanted a better time in the 200. She ran 25.75, but felt Malvern’s Zoe Moser pass her in the 100 turn. The two raced toward the finish with Moser winning the state title.

“I made sure I went out of those blocks pretty strong and I finished until the end,” Ervin said.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Badger junior Miranda Stanhope finished what she started a couple of weeks ago — both the 1600 and 3200 races.

Some runners come to a regional or state meet and decide they cannot do both. Stanhope knew running both races would give her two chances to win another coveted state title this season. She won the Division III girls cross country championship last November.

“Earlier in the season I considered focusing on the 3200 like I did my freshman year,” Stanhope said. “As the season progressed and I saw where I was ranked in both, I wanted to give it my all in the 1600 and see what I could do. I don’t race that one as much as I do the 3200.”

She placed third in the 1600 with 5:03.84. It was a fast and strategic race.

“Last year I had problems with getting boxed in at the beginning,” Stanhope said. “This year, to try to avoid that, I went in Lane 2. This year went a little faster than I wanted it to be, but it was good I got in contact with other people. Laps 2-3 were about trying to maintain position. Lap 4 was just trying to kick.”

In the 3200 she placed fifth with a time of 11:30.02. The sun was beating down on her as the humid weather in Columbus started to prevail. Stanhope kept herself near Columbus Grove’s Alyssa Ellerbrock as the two toggled between fourth and fifth places — well behind the lead trio.

Stanhope’s training led her to being able to handle any situation on the track, especially this grueling race.

“For that race, it is as much mental fatigue as it is physical,” she said. “You feel it in your legs. Your legs get heavier as you’re going through the second lap of the race. Sometimes lap five you feel good, but the last three is where it hits you.

“It’s also about staying focused. It can be easy to zone out when you start feeling your arms, when your legs are getting heavy, to kind of lose focus of what your goal is. You have to keep in mind everything you’re trying to do for that race so you can hang in there.”

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