Azure Travis debuts at fourth place on state podium

Daniel Sherriff and J. Patrick Eaken

Woodmore track’s youth movement continued when sophomore Azure Travis made her state debut and took fifth place in the 100-meter hurdles with a time 15.18 and took fourth in the 300-meter hurdles clocking a time of 44.6 on Saturday, setting school records in both events.

“It’s really awesome because I finished with faster times than I came in with at regionals so I’m very happy about that,” she said.

Travis is the 2022 Alan Miller Jewelers All-Press Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year after getting the highest finish at the state meet of any athlete in the Eastern Maumee Bay community. That’s quite a debut.

Travis advanced to the regional meet last season but just missed out on earning a state berth to Columbus.

She said her bid to the state meet was hampered by an injury but as soon as she recovered she started working in the offseason.

She avenged last season’s heart-breaking end by qualifying for both e-vents.

Travis needed to compete in preliminaries in each event in order to give herself a chance to make the podium.

The top times out of each heat in the preliminaries automatically advanced to the final race with the next five fastest times combined also qualifying.

Travis placed third in the first heat of the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.22 then came in second in the first heat of the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 45.39 on Friday.

Travis’ day on Saturday started early with her immediately competing in the 100-meter hurdles but she bested her preliminary times by .04 to take fifth place. 

According to the Woodmore sophomore, she didn’t mind the early start time because she loves hurdling.

“I had to get in the right mindset and do all of the things yesterday I competed on Friday to be ready for Saturday,” she said.

She ended her day with another strong showing in the 300-meter hurdles, this time taking fourth and eclipsing her preliminary time by almost a full second.

The Wildcats’ quartet of junior Rahzia Rios, Emma Hammer, Olivia Vogelpohl and Travis then teamed up to place sixth in the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 4:01.6, setting another school record.

“We wanted to run fast and get out of the box strong,” said Hammer.

The Woodmore foursome qualified for the finals after taking first place in the first heat of the preliminaries on Friday with a time of 4:05.29.

Woodmore sat in the middle of the pack during the first three legs until Travis pulled them through in the final 100 meters of the race.

“The whole time I was thinking this is my last race so I wanted to leave it all out there,” said Travis.

It marked the end of Woodmore’s day but the Lady Wildcats are encouraged for what the future will bring with most of the team returning next season.

“It makes me really excited,” said Rios. “In the coming years we’re going to get a lot of amazing athletes.”

Athletes on the All-Press Track and Field honor roll have to win a league title, district title, regional title, or qualify for state.

(Daniel Sherriff is the sports editor of the Chagrin Valley Times, Geauga County Times, and Solon Times, sister publications of the Press Newspapers (Metro Press/Suburban Press) published by Douthit Communications.)
















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