Three athletes place at state


Three Morrow County athletes earned podium finishes at the OHSAA’s state track and field competition, which was hosted by Dayton Welcome Stadium this year due to renovations making The Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Stadium unavailable.

Will Baker finished fourth in the Division III 1600-meter run on Friday with a time of 4:16.75 to earn the highest place among local athletes. The Indian junior also competed in the 3200, but wasn’t able to place in the top eight in that event, coming in 10th with a time of 9:34.55.

Baker noted that it is tough to handle those two events on both a physical and mental level, but added that he feels that sort of challenge will only benefit him down the road.

“It’s a physical sport, but it’s arguably more mental,” he said. “Coming out here and racing 12 laps is definitely tiring, but it’s what I want to do. Out here on the track with these high-level competitors really prepares me for races down the road and that’s the end goal.

The other two placers — Parker Bartlett of Mount Gilead and Cowin Becker of Northmor — got a chance to compete at the state meet in their podium events due to a recent ruling that allowed two wild card competitors to be picked from the four regional meets to raise the total number of athletes or relays in each event from 16 to 18.

Becker took fifth place in the long jump one week after taking that place at regionals. His best effort Thursday was a leap of 21’4”.He also ran in the 400, where he had the ninth best prelim time of 50 seconds. If the meet had been held at Jesse Owens Stadium, that would have moved him on to the finals, but due to Welcome Stadium only having eight lanes, he was unable to advance.

Bartlett took advantage of his opportunity to compete in the 3200-meter run Friday, spending most of the race near the front of a large pack of runners chasing the top three competitors before finishing seventh with a time of 9:28.86.

The Indian senior, who will now move on to Division I collegiate running at Davidson University, said that his podium finish in the state meet would be a huge boost for him heading into college.

“I think going Division I next year after being Division III, this gave me a sense of ‘I belong” and it gives me confidence that I belong at the level I’m going to and I think that’s big in running. Division III Ohio gets overlooked a little bit. It’s competitive. It’s about as competitive as it gets, so making the podium, it’s huge.”

Mount Gilead’s quartet of Jonathan Miller, Logan High, Collin Gabriel and Quade Harris competed in the prelims of the 800-meter relay Thursday, but their time of 1:33.09 did not advance them to the finals. Also, Wyatt Mowry ran in the prelims of the 300-meter hurdles and finished in 44.86 to end his season.

Northmor’s 3200-meter relay of Ryan Lehman, David Blunk, Griffin Healea and Levi Hunter also advanced to the state meet due to earning a wild card. In their race on Thursday, they took 13th place with a time of 8:24.67.

Also for Northmor, junior Cade Miracle competed in the boys’ pole vault Friday, where he cleared 13’ to place 13th.

Competing Saturday in the Division II finals, Highland senior Camryn Miller ran in the 3200 and came close to a podium finish. She placed 10th in the race with a time of 11:24.77.

Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS

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