Reiner races to the podium

COLUMBUS – The state track meet gives Wellsville sophomore Michael Reiner a chance to showcase his talent on the big stage.

Reiner earned two medals during the second year of the wheelchair events at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

“I never get to race anybody (at area meets),” he said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here.

“This is something I was around when it started. It is going to be evolving for the coming years.”

Reiner started the day by placing sixth in the boys shot put (9-feet-9) and then was seventh in the 100-meter dash (31.04 seconds), just a second off his personal best time.

“I bounced back from this morning when I was disappointed,” Reiner said. “I had another opportunity and this makes for a better day.”

Reiner’s racing wheelchair had two new tires after blowing them out in a practice accident in the Wellsville High School parking lot Monday. He didn’t hear his coaches yelling and hit a curb.

“People said, ‘How’d you do that?” he said. “I lost focus a little bit. Hopefully, it won’t happen again.”

He had two new tires on it the next day.

“They feel really good,” he said. “They had a lot of air.”

Reiner can’t wait for next season when he will try to reach the state meet for a third straight season. He is aiming for a higher spot on the podium.

“I’m young. I’m only a sophomore,” he said. “I have two more years left and I’m going to go after it.”

He is appreciative for the support he has been receiving.

‘I have to thank my family, the athletic department, the administration and all the people in Wellsville,” Reiner said. “They’ve given me an opportunity to do this.”

State notes

Wherever you see Reiner competing, you’ll see his mom, Paula, taking pictures.

“She just keeps them,” he said.

Does Reiner get tired of looking at them?

“No,” he said. “One day I’ll look back at it and be glad I have them.”

After the wheelchair shot put placers were announced and they received their medals, one of Reiner’s competitors exclaimed, “Is that it?”

The star wheelchair athlete is Ravenna Southeast junior Jenna Fesemyer.

She repeated as a four-time winner, sweeping the girls 100 (21.54), 400 (1:13.08), 800 (2:57.12) and shot put (17-8 1/2).