Carrollton senior Jacob Baker got straight to business Friday afternoon with a state championship at Hilliard Darby.
Baker, a seated athlete for the Warriors, earned berths to the OHSAA state track and field championships in four events (shot put, 100, 400 and 800).
As a sophomore, Baker finished second in two events and third in the other. Partway through this season, Baker decided to pick up the shot put and quickly became one of the state’s best. Little did he know he would finish as the best in the state.
“I just started throwing this year. I never thought I would be shot put state champion this year,” Baker said.
He opened the tournament with state championship in the seated shot put event, recording a throw of 19’ 4.25”. With one state championship under his belt for the weekend, he has a solid chance at three more before the tournament ends.
“A lot of the pressure is off now because I have a state championship,” Baker said moments after winning state.
He is very thankful for the opportunity to compete after missing his junior season due to Covid.
“This was my senior year and last chance to compete at the high school level,” Baker said. “I wanted to leave it all out there and do as best as I could.”
Baker entered the tournament as the fourth seed. His throw of 19’ 4.25 is a career-best for the outgoing senior athlete.
Baker quickly led the field Friday. It was a matter of being runner-up or state champion.
“I wasn’t really expecting to win today,” Baker said. “After those first couple throws, I was really excited with where I was sitting.”
Baker qualified to compete in the state finals Saturday in the seated 100, 200 and 400.