A Pendleton has stood atop the awards stand as the girls’ discus champion at the Division III state track meet for the past five years.
Woodmore senior Erin Pendleton hopes to make it six in a row, but she was not getting ahead of herself heading into the state meet.
Last Thursday and Saturday at the Tiffin regional, Pendleton won the discus with a season-best throw of 167 feet, 6 inches. The top four qualifiers in each event qualified for this Friday and Saturday's state meet in Columbus.
She entered the event with the best qualifying throw in the state.
"I just want to make it to the finals first, get a good throw in," Pendleton said. "If I make it to finals, I just want to get those three throws in and do my best. You can't guarantee anything. I don't want to guarantee anything..."
Pendleton's older sister, Emily, was a four-time state champion in the discus. She is now an All-Big Ten thrower at the University of Michigan.
Last year Erin set a state meet record in the discus with a throw of 168-10. That was the longest throw in state meet history for Divisions I, II or III. Emily Pendleton set the state record with a throw of 183-3 in 2007.
Erin also qualified to the state meet in the shot put after taking third in that event at regionals, with a throw of 40-7 1/4. Her best throw this season is 40-10.
"I'm just happy I made it out in the shot and discus," she said. "I got fourth in the shot last year. This year our region for shot was a lot harder to make it out. You had to throw it at least 40-1. There were quite a few girls at 38 and 39 (feet) and last year there weren't as many."
Pendleton took fourth in the discus at the state meet as a freshman, then placed second behind her sister as a sophomore before taking the title in 2008.
Her father, Mike Pendleton, is the girls track coach at Woodmore. He said Erin will be ready to perform at the state meet.
"She tweaked a tendon in her thumb, but we have been having good practices," he said. "Anything can happen. She's not the biggest kid. There are some pretty big girls down there. In the discus, I'm pretty comfortable with her. She's out there far enough, even if she has an off day. We only work on one meet at a time. There is never a sure win. You have to earn it."
Woodmore sophomore Carly Pendleton, Erin's sister, just missed qualifiying for the state meet in the discus after placing fifth (129-5) at regionals.
Erin Pendleton will be joined at the state meet by senior teammate Tatijana Jacobson.
Jacobson won the district high jump with a leap of 5-1, then came back with a jump of 5-2 at the regional meet. Her personal best is 5-4.
"She's been working off an injury, so we're happy she made it," Mike Pendleton said. "She strained her calf probably two weeks before the league meet, about a month ago, so we haven't done anything but rest. To come back and do that is pretty amazing. She's been kind of taking it easy. The more rest, the better."
Jacobson qualified to state in the high jump last year and finished in a six-way tie for ninth place, with a jump of 5-0.
"Her dad, Andy, is her personal coach and he helps us with the high-jumpers," Coach Pendleton said.
"He was a high-jumper in high school and did very well, so the guy knows his stuff. Tatijana's got as good a chance as anyone. If she jumps 5-4, she could place in the top five. It all depends on misses."