NEW MIDDLETOWN - Columbiana senior Noah McBride has a good story to tell about the time he won the district long jump in girls shoes.
"I forget my shoes and had to wear someone elses," he said. "We were sitting on the bus when I realized it. They weren't in the car like usual. I wasn't terribly worried about it."
As they arrived at the Division III district track meet at Springfield High School on Wednesday, he asked some of the other boys on the Columbiana track team.
"I asked around just because they were around the size of my feet," McBride said. "We don't have that many boys."
He borrowed Eamon Eavers', but they were too big and McBride advanced to the district finals with a 17-foot jump. So McBride switched to Karly Smith's shoes.
"I just asked her," he said. "I was asking anyone on my team and seeing if they were a good fit."
He said he liked them as he had a winning jump of 19-feet-11, finishing three-quarters of an inch ahead of Western Reserve's Brian Sunderman. Crestview's Zack Hicks placed fourth with a personal-best 19-feet-7 1/4.
The top four in each event advance to the Navarre meet next week.
McBride left before he knew he won because he attended a Baccalaureate service on Wednesday night.
"I knew I was in the top four," he said. "I was just hoping to get to regionals."
This will be his first regional appearance. Seven jumpers went over 20 feet at the district last year and McBride took fifth place as a sophomore.
"I remember I got beat by a quarter inch," McBride said.
This also was McBride's first win in a big meet this year. He has placed high, but lost to only three jumpers - United's Riley Fillman, East Palestine's Nick Monteleone and East Liverpool's Zack English. All three are in Division II this season.
McBride returned the shoes to Smith, who went on to qualify for the district finals in the 800-meter run.
"I remember she said I got some sand in them," he said.
No one teased him about wearing girls shoes.
"If they did, I wouldn't have cared," McBride said.
Whose shoes is he going to wear at regionals next week?
"My mom teased me about that," McBride said. "I'll probably use my own shoes."
The top four finishers at regional next Wednesday advance to the state meet.
"I've been chasing after 21 all season," said McBride, whose best jump is 20-feet-11. "I'm hoping to get as far as I can, but 21 is a definite goal."
The Columbiana boys had only three participants at the Inter-Tri County League meet last week.
The South Range boys 3200-meter relay team of Ben Stebelton, Jordan Roush, Eric Liston and Colton Hiner grabbed the fourth and final regional berth, placing fourth in 8:52.69.
McDonald won for the fourth straight year in 8:25.79 and Lowellville was second in a school-record 8:28.30.
The district meet concludes Friday with the remaining field events at 4 p.m. and the running events at 5 p.m.