Haylee Baker

Shelby's Haylee Baker sprits toward the finish line in the finals of the 400 meter dash during the Division II district meet at Ontario High School.

LEXINGTON — Shelby’s Haylee Baker is inching closer to her goal.

Baker placed third in the 400 meter dash Saturday at the Division II Lexington regional meet, earning a spot in next week’s state meet.

Baker finished in 58.37 seconds, almost a full second faster than her winning time at last week’s Ontario sectional meet (59.12). She said then her goal was to break the school record of 57.5.

“I’m trying to get the school record and I know these are the times to do it because I’m actually being pushed,” Baker said at the time. “It’s going to be hard, but it’s definitely doable.”

Baker will have company at next week’s Division II state meet at Pickerington North High School. Teammate Kayla Gonzalez was second in the 1,600 in 5:15.37 while Huck Finnegan was fourth in the 3,200 in 9:50.83.

Galion’s Samantha Comer and Caleb Branstetter also earned state berths Saturday afternoon. Comer finished second in the 100 hurdles in 15.34, while Branstetter won the high jump competition with a leap of 6-feet, 6-inches.

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I have covered high school sports in Richland County since 2000. Email him at curt@richlandsource.com or follow him on Twitter: Follow @curtjconrad on twitter.

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