TRACK NOTES: Horn faces familiar foes at state

COLUMBUS — Waynesfield-Goshen junior Ivy Horn is used to being at the front of the pack.
And after three straight trips to the Division III state track meet, she’s used to sharing the front with some familiar faces — Rittman’s Crystal Barber and Sidney Lehman’s Gretchen Walter.
Horn finished second in the 100 dash on Saturday with a time of 12.48, just .06 behind Walter and .01 ahead of Barber.
Then in the 200, she finished third with a 25.81 behind Barber (25.44) and Walter (25.64).
“I knew it was going to be me, Gretchen and Crystal up there,” Horn said.
Family affair
The Horn family has certainly left its mark on W-G track.
Twin sisters Ivy and Morgan Horn, as well as cousin Abbey Gray, join brother Gray Horn and cousin Joe Horn as state track champions.
Gray and Joe were key cogs on the W-G boys team that won the overall title in 2006.
“We’ve grown up together,” Abbey Gray said. “We used to do like little marathons around Grandpa Joe’s pond. It’s just fun to be here now with them and to do well at state.”
Said Ivy Horn, “It’s just an awesome deal for our community.”
Friendly persuasion
After two years off from track, senior Frankie James returned in a big way as the third leg in the state championship 400 relay team.
“I had problems my sophomore year and my junior year I just didn’t do it and I wish I did,” James said. “But I’m glad I ran it this year.”
Her teammates are glad, too.
“[It took] a lot of convincing,” Ivy Horn said.
Said James, “They bugged me and bugged me until I told them I’d do it.”
Toughing it out
Abbey Gray turned in a gutsy performance in the 300 hurdles, one of the most grueling races.
“I’ve been having some quad issues and I considered not even running them today,” Gray said. “I’m happy with it. I ran them and I placed.”
Gray persevered and took seventh in the final after hitting the first hurdle. She was sixth in the long jump on Friday.
“She toughed it out and ran a nice hurdle race,” W-G coach Jim Epperly said.