Beavercreek trio state bound


Beavercreek’s Ben Ewert powers around the fourth turn on his way to winning the 1,600-meter run, Friday, at the Division I regional track & field championships at Dayton’s Perc Welcome Stadium.


John Bombatch | Greene County News

Stephanie Pierce and Jordan Grant share a laugh as they await their turn on the awards podium, Friday, at the Division I regional track and field championships. Pierce was third and Grant second in the girls 800-meter final, to advance to next week’s state championships.


John Bombatch | Greene County News

Matthew Riekens (left) of Beavercreek battles Springfield’s Dyier Smith in the finals of the boys 110-meter hurdles. Smith finished fourth in 15.11, to Riekens’ 15.12, to earn the final qualifying spot to state in the event.


John Bombatch | Greene County News

Bellbrook sophomore pole vaulter Riley Allen cleared 10 feet, 10 inches — that’s one foot better than her height at last week’s districts — to finish eighth in the Division I girls pole vault, Friday at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium.


John Bombatch | Greene County News

With his right shoulder bleeding after a tumble at the finish line, Beavercreek hurdler Matt Riekens reacts to learning that he’d missed a trip to the state championships by .01 second. Riekens was fifth, but the top-4 move on to Columbus next week.


John Bombatch | Greene County News

By John Bombatch

jbombatch@civitasmedia.com

DAYTON — Three Beavercreek High School track and field standouts earned trips to Columbus next week. Meanwhile, two other Greene County-area athletes came up just short at Friday’s Division I regional track and field championships at Perc Welcome Stadium.

The day started out rough for junior Beavercreek 110-meter hurdler Matthew Riekens, who dove across the finish line only to learn that he’d been nipped out of the fourth and final state qualifying spot by 0.01 second. His right shoulder and elbow had noticeable scrapes after his tumble, but Riekens remained upbeat despite having his junior high school season come to a close.

“I came so close. One one hundredth of a second … Really, I just find that motivating,” Riekens said. “One spot away from going to the biggest meet in the state. That’s a big deal. I do summer track in the decathlon, and this is just going to motivate me even farther to hopefully go out and win a national championship.”

Beavercreek teammates Ben Ewert (in the boys mile run) and girls 800-meter runners Jordan Grant and Stephanie Pierce gave Riekens and the rest of the Beavers team plenty to cheer about.

Ewert kicked into another gear on the backstraight on the final lap and won the boys 1,600-meter run in 4:17.36, which was easily 11 seconds quicker than his district championship time. The Beavercreek junior begged out of doing an interview after his mile win. He had to go run and stay loose for the upcoming boys 3,200-meter run about a half-hour later. He must’ve spent his energy in the mile. Ewert clocked nearly 11 seconds slower at regionals than he had ran at last week’s districts and finished ninth overall.

In the girls 800, Grant finished second (2:15.94) and Pierce was third (2:15.96) and so both Beavercreek girls advanced on to state.

“We weren’t really too concerned with the time we ran, but it was more important for us to get in the top four,” Grant, a junior, said. “The post season is all about racing and competing, so the times are kind of irrelevant. But it’s exciting to be competing and moving on.”

Pierce had reason to also be happy with her time.

“That was my best time, so I’m pretty happy with it,” she said.

The elated pair even took time to clear the runners’ bench area of discarded cups, before leaving the infield to celebrate with their teammates in the grandstand.

Xenia’s Tatum Washington saw her high school track and field career end with a sixth-place finish in the girls 100-meter dash. Matt Bartley, her coach, remained very proud of her after the race.

“Tatum, she ran a great race. She did everything we asked of her. But those girls ahead of her? Man, they were rolling today. The difference between first and sixth was .57 seconds!” Bartley said. “It’s tough when you see a senior go out in their last race like that, especially somebody who really put in a lot of effort for the past four years and has done a great job.

“I told her that I know she’s upset, but not to worry I told her ‘Tatum, this is not the end for you. This is a beginning. It’s a NEW beginning. You’re destined for great things. I’m sure of it.’ “

The OHSAA state track and field championships will take place June 3-4 at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, in Columbus.

Beavercreek’s Ben Ewert powers around the fourth turn on his way to winning the 1,600-meter run, Friday, at the Division I regional track & field championships at Dayton’s Perc Welcome Stadium.
http://xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_EwertWin_PS.jpgBeavercreek’s Ben Ewert powers around the fourth turn on his way to winning the 1,600-meter run, Friday, at the Division I regional track & field championships at Dayton’s Perc Welcome Stadium. John Bombatch | Greene County News

Stephanie Pierce and Jordan Grant share a laugh as they await their turn on the awards podium, Friday, at the Division I regional track and field championships. Pierce was third and Grant second in the girls 800-meter final, to advance to next week’s state championships.
http://xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_LaughingBeavers_PS.jpgStephanie Pierce and Jordan Grant share a laugh as they await their turn on the awards podium, Friday, at the Division I regional track and field championships. Pierce was third and Grant second in the girls 800-meter final, to advance to next week’s state championships. John Bombatch | Greene County News

Matthew Riekens (left) of Beavercreek battles Springfield’s Dyier Smith in the finals of the boys 110-meter hurdles. Smith finished fourth in 15.11, to Riekens’ 15.12, to earn the final qualifying spot to state in the event.
http://xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_HurdleClose_PS.jpgMatthew Riekens (left) of Beavercreek battles Springfield’s Dyier Smith in the finals of the boys 110-meter hurdles. Smith finished fourth in 15.11, to Riekens’ 15.12, to earn the final qualifying spot to state in the event. John Bombatch | Greene County News

Bellbrook sophomore pole vaulter Riley Allen cleared 10 feet, 10 inches — that’s one foot better than her height at last week’s districts — to finish eighth in the Division I girls pole vault, Friday at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium.
http://xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_GoldenEagleVaulter.jpgBellbrook sophomore pole vaulter Riley Allen cleared 10 feet, 10 inches — that’s one foot better than her height at last week’s districts — to finish eighth in the Division I girls pole vault, Friday at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium. John Bombatch | Greene County News

With his right shoulder bleeding after a tumble at the finish line, Beavercreek hurdler Matt Riekens reacts to learning that he’d missed a trip to the state championships by .01 second. Riekens was fifth, but the top-4 move on to Columbus next week.
http://xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_SoreMattHurdler_PS.jpgWith his right shoulder bleeding after a tumble at the finish line, Beavercreek hurdler Matt Riekens reacts to learning that he’d missed a trip to the state championships by .01 second. Riekens was fifth, but the top-4 move on to Columbus next week. John Bombatch | Greene County News

John Bombatch can be reached at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.

John Bombatch can be reached at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.

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