Her goal was to qualify for the state track and field meet after watching her sister do it a couple years ago.
Nordonia senior Grace Coghill accomplished her goal by finishing second in the pole vault with a height of 11 feet at the Austintown Fitch Division I regional meet, which concluded Friday.
The top four finishers in each event qualified for the state meet. Two wild card state berths combined with the other three Division I regionals were also awarded.
"Watching Grace vault and kind of get that monkey off her back by getting down to the state meet was a good feeling," Knights head coach Scott Barwidi said. "It was good to see her just relax and let things happen.
"She’s got one more meet to compete in, and I think she’s got a little bit more in her. I think that she has a little bit bigger goal of being All-Ohio, which would be amazing if she accomplishes that. We’re excited to watch her next week."
The state meet will take place Friday and Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus.
Also competing in the pole vault was freshman Emily Eterovich.
Others competing at the regional meet were seniors Kayla Childs (high jump), Kynnidi Knight (discus) and Mallory Tedor (3,200-meter run).
Overall, the Nordonia girls team tied for 28th with 8 points. Twinsburg won the 39-team competition with 76 points. Mentor finished second with 65 1/2 points and Solon was third with 55 points.
There were two Nordonia boys who qualified for the state meet. Sophomore Jonathan Banks finished third in the 400 with a time of 49.72 seconds. Junior Dominick Stockle placed fifth in the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 1 1/4 inches. He qualified as a wild card. He also competed in the 200.
"We’d been talking to Jonathan about running a better race, a sound race. And he did that," said Barwidi, also the boys head coach. "He really got out in the first 150 meters and really worked the first 150. That was the key. He had a great finish. He was in sixth place coming off the turn and moved all the way up to third in the final 100, which was awesome. It was fun to watch.
"Dom had a pretty decent day. Austintown-Fitch is typically a very difficult place to long jump. The fourth-place kid actually jumped 22-2 on his final jump," added Barwidi. "Dom was bummed about that, but when we told him he made it as a wild card, he was real excited.
"We’re excited to see him go down to Ohio State and get some experience at the state level. I think that will pay some dividends next year for us when he’s a senior."
Overall, Nordonia finished 14th with 19 1/2 points. Solon won the 44-team competition with 67 points. Twinsburg finished second with 55 points and Massillon Washington was third with 40 points.
Stockle, Banks, junior Brenden Jackson and sophomore Zack Liederbach teamed to finish fifth in the 800 relay with a time of 1:29.44, just two-hundredths of a second behind the team from Twinsburg and an automatic state berth.
"They were very close to their season best," Barwidi said. "We’d beaten Twinsburg throughout the year, they’d beaten us throughout the year. It was just one of those things. They were just a couple hundredths of a second better than us."
Jackson finished seventh in the 300 hurdles with a personal-best time of 39.41. He also competed in the 110 hurdles.
"Brenden had to get out and run early in the 300 hurdles and run really hard, and he did that," said the coach. "He had a problem with hurdle No. 5, which really just kind of broke him up a little bit, and he wasn’t able to recover from that.
"I know he was extremely disappointed that he didn’t make it to the state meet. It’s one of those things. I told him, ‘You’re going to deal with some disappointment in life. You’re a junior. You have a whole year to get back here and right this situation.’ We’ll see what he does next year. He had a great season."
Also placing seventh were senior Jonathan DePiero in the pole vault with a height of 12-8 and senior Dom Dasher in the discus with a throw of 150-8. Dasher also competed in the shot put.
"John was just Steady Eddie all year long," Barwidi said. "He worked his butt off for us the past four years. He’s going to be a tough guy to replace.
"Dom threw close to his personal best. It was just nice to watch him as hard as he’s worked over the past four years be a regional qualifier in both the discus and the shot put. It just kind of validates that, if you work really hard at things, then you can be a person who has some great successes and can be a really good track and field athlete if you dedicate your time and effort to it."
Junior Tommy Vetrovsky also competed in the shot put.
Also competing was the 400 relay team of Liederbach, junior Shannon Reese Jones and sophomores Mike Westbrooks and Sanshakir Adeyemi.