By John Bombatch
Twenty eight Greene County area high school track and field athletes will be on hand June 3-4 for the 2016 State Track and Field Championships at Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus.
Beavercreek has eight athletes competing at state, tops among Greene County area schools. The Beavers contingent will compete in the Division I boys 3,200-meter run with Jacob Benigno, Ben Ewert, Ian Johnson and Brad Klingbeil; the boys mile (1,600-meters) run with Ewert; and Cameron Baird, Jordan Grant, Stephanie Pierce and Lauren Shuman will run in the girls 3,200 Relay.
Bellbrook’s Melissa Wahl is the area’s other D-I competitor. The Golden Eagles senior will be competing in the girls high jump.
Carroll leads the way among area Division II schools. The Patriots are sending seven student athletes and are finally reunited as a team again. Last week, the Carroll boys competed in the D-II regional in Lexington, while the girls were a bit closer to home in Dayton.
Sam Janson qualified on the boys side for Carroll. He’ll compete in the 400-meter run.
Carroll’s girls have runners in the mile- (Julia Barbera, Christian Kallet, Hannah Ritter and Haley Sabo), and two-mile relay (Kallet, Maria McCarty, Ritter and Ellie Rumme), and Barbera will also compete in the high jump.
Greenon’s Rachel Stute is the area’s other Division II area competitor. The Knights senior will compete in the girls 400-meter run.
With Cedarville, Yellow Springs and Xenia Christian each qualifying athletes to Columbus, Division III will see the largest bunch of Greene County athletes, with 11. Both Cedarville and Xenia Christian are sending four athletes, while Yellow Springs is sending three.
Cedarville’s quartet of Noah Christman, Devin Gruet, Everett Harding and Nathan Sheridan will compete in the D-III boys 1,600 relay, Christman and Gruet are also in the 400-meter run, and Harding is in the 300-meter hurdles competition.
Yellow Springs is one of three Greene County schools to have at least one male and female competitor in the state championships (Beavercreek and Carroll are the others). The Bulldogs will send Kaner Butler in the boys 110 hurdles, Oluka Okia in the boys high jump, and Julie Roberts in the girls 300-meter hurdles.
The Xenia Christian foursome of Tori Estepp, Ariana Nelson, Grace Norman and Rachel Sweeney will compete together in the girls D-III 3,200 relay. Norman also qualified in the girls 1,600 run, while Sweeney qualified in the girls 800.
Seven of the 10 area high schools qualified at least one student athlete to the state championships. Fairborn, Greeneview and Xenia did not advance out of last week’s regional competition.
The Xenia Christian girls 3,200 Relay team won’t have too long to wait for its state final event. The Division III girls 3,200-meter relay event is the very first scheduled event of the state championships, set for 9:30 a.m. Friday morning.