Area relay teams solid at state


By John Bombatch - jbombatch@civitasmedia.com



Stephanie Pierce, Lauren Shuman, Jordan Grant and Cami Baird celebrate after finishing fourth in the Division I girls 3,200-meter relay, Friday afternoon at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, in Columbus.


John Bombatch | Greene County News

Cedarville’s Devin Gruet (right) hands the baton off to senior teammate Everett Harding, in the Division III boys 1,600-meter relay preliminary event, Friday at the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. The team failed to advance to Saturday’s final, but Harding was able to advance in the boys 300-meter hurdles.


John Bombatch | Greene County News

Members of the Xenia Christian girls Division III 3,200-meter relay team pose for a photo after accepting their sixth-place medals at Friday’s state track and field tournament in Columbus. From left to right are: Ariana Nelson, Grace Norman, Rachel Sweeney and Tori Estepp.


John Bombatch | Greene County News

Yellow Springs senior Oluka Okia clears the bar during early-round action in Friday’s Division III high jump final at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Okia was nipped out of eighth place overall, due to having one more miss than the eighth place finisher.


John Bombatch | Greene County News

Senior Grace Norman runs the anchor leg during Friday morning’s Division III girls 3,200-meter relay event at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Norman and teammates Ariana Nelson, Rachel Sweeney and Tori Estepp finished sixth at the state track and field championships. Sweeney (800-meter run) and Norman (1,600 run) will both compete in finals on Saturday, too.


John Bombatch | Greene County News

By John Bombatch

jbombatch@civitasmedia.com

COLUMBUS — A pair of area 3,200-meter girls relay teams book-ended their success around a very hot first day of the OHSAA boys and girls state track and field championships at the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the Ohio State University campus.

Before the temperatures climbed into the upper 80s, Xenia Christian girls 3,200-meter relay team opened up the day by placing sixth in the very first event of the morning. The team of Rachel Sweeney, Tori Estepp, Ariana Nelson and Grace Norman turned in a time of 9:42.53 — nine seconds slower than their second-place regional qualifying time —but the four runners were understandably proud of their finish, against the state’s best.

“It was a lot slower than what our regional time was. I don’t know why. We did our best on a given day with the talents that God had given us. It wasn’t our best time today, but our best got us on the podium,” anchor runner Grace Norman said. “It was great to spend it with these girls.”

Xenia Christian did not qualify to state in the 3,200 relay last year.

Beavercreek then closed out the day for Greene County-area competing teams almost eight hours later with an exciting fourth-place finish in the Division I 3,200-meter relay in 9:14.48.

The Battlin’ Beavers quartet of Stephanie Pierce, Lauren Shuman, Jordan Grant and Cami Baird said they had something to prove.

“I think we were just excited to run, to prove that we shouldn’t have been DQ’d last year (at regionals) and that Beavercreek is here to win … next year,” said anchor runner Baird, the lone senior on the squad.

“It’s such a cool experience. After being disqualified at regionals last year, this is our first time back,” Pierce said. “We really didn’t expect much. We’re just happy to be here and to do as well as we could. I think we proved something.”

Pierce and Shuman will compete in the D-I girls 800-meter final on Saturday.

Two other Greene County-area 3,200-meter relay teams competed in their respective finals on Friday: The Division II Carroll girls team of Christina Kallet, Hannah Ritter, Ellie Rumme and Maria McCarty finished 11th; And in Division I, the Beavercreek boys 3,200 team of Ian Johnson, Brad Klingbeil, Ben Ewert and Jacob Benigno finished 15th.

Ewert will compete in today’s mile final.

Bellbrook’s Melissa Wahl will be the only area athlete competing in a field event on Saturday. The Golden Eagle will be in the D-I high jump final at noon.

Division II Carroll and Division III Cedarville saw athletes advance out of Friday’s preliminary rounds and into Saturday’s finals.

Cedarville’s Everett Harding turned in the sixth quickest time in the Division III boys 300-meter hurdles. He was excited to be moving on, and to be upholding the Indians’ hurdling tradition.

“We’ve had a history of hurdlers here at Cedarville. Tony Young went to state in the 110s and the 300s, and then Chase Gruet had the school record, and I thought he was gonna be better than Jonah, so I knew that I had to get better to be one of the greats at Cedarville. And I was able to get the school record (40.24 at regionals last week), so moving on to finals today means a lot,” Harding said. “I ‘m ranked sixth in the field right now, so I’m thinking I’m going to be in one of the inside lanes, so that’s good because the person in front of me won’t see me coming. I hope to chase them down and get myself into the top-4. The top-8 win a medal, and I’d be very happy with that.”

The boys 300-meter hurdles final will go off at just before 10:55 a.m. Saturday.

The Carroll girls mile relay (1,600-meters) team of Kallet, Haley Sabo, Ritter and Julia Barbera had to find results on a writer’s cell phone before happily realizing they’d finished with the seventh quickest time in their prelims to advance.

Carroll’s mile relay final will be the final D-II event at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Kallet will also be in the 800 final at 2 p.m.

Stephanie Pierce, Lauren Shuman, Jordan Grant and Cami Baird celebrate after finishing fourth in the Division I girls 3,200-meter relay, Friday afternoon at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, in Columbus.
http://xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_Creek3200Girls_PS.jpgStephanie Pierce, Lauren Shuman, Jordan Grant and Cami Baird celebrate after finishing fourth in the Division I girls 3,200-meter relay, Friday afternoon at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, in Columbus. John Bombatch | Greene County News

Cedarville’s Devin Gruet (right) hands the baton off to senior teammate Everett Harding, in the Division III boys 1,600-meter relay preliminary event, Friday at the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. The team failed to advance to Saturday’s final, but Harding was able to advance in the boys 300-meter hurdles.
http://xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_IndianHandoff_PS.jpgCedarville’s Devin Gruet (right) hands the baton off to senior teammate Everett Harding, in the Division III boys 1,600-meter relay preliminary event, Friday at the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. The team failed to advance to Saturday’s final, but Harding was able to advance in the boys 300-meter hurdles. John Bombatch | Greene County News

Members of the Xenia Christian girls Division III 3,200-meter relay team pose for a photo after accepting their sixth-place medals at Friday’s state track and field tournament in Columbus. From left to right are: Ariana Nelson, Grace Norman, Rachel Sweeney and Tori Estepp.
http://xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_Podium_PS.jpgMembers of the Xenia Christian girls Division III 3,200-meter relay team pose for a photo after accepting their sixth-place medals at Friday’s state track and field tournament in Columbus. From left to right are: Ariana Nelson, Grace Norman, Rachel Sweeney and Tori Estepp. John Bombatch | Greene County News

Yellow Springs senior Oluka Okia clears the bar during early-round action in Friday’s Division III high jump final at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Okia was nipped out of eighth place overall, due to having one more miss than the eighth place finisher.
http://xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_OLUIKAleap_PS.jpgYellow Springs senior Oluka Okia clears the bar during early-round action in Friday’s Division III high jump final at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Okia was nipped out of eighth place overall, due to having one more miss than the eighth place finisher. John Bombatch | Greene County News

Senior Grace Norman runs the anchor leg during Friday morning’s Division III girls 3,200-meter relay event at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Norman and teammates Ariana Nelson, Rachel Sweeney and Tori Estepp finished sixth at the state track and field championships. Sweeney (800-meter run) and Norman (1,600 run) will both compete in finals on Saturday, too.
http://xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_NormanAnchor_PS.jpgSenior Grace Norman runs the anchor leg during Friday morning’s Division III girls 3,200-meter relay event at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Norman and teammates Ariana Nelson, Rachel Sweeney and Tori Estepp finished sixth at the state track and field championships. Sweeney (800-meter run) and Norman (1,600 run) will both compete in finals on Saturday, too. John Bombatch | Greene County News

By John Bombatch

jbombatch@civitasmedia.com

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

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

comments powered by Disqus