The upcoming OHSAA Division I State Track & Field Championships will look a little different when they get started Friday morning. For starters, they’ll be held at Hilliard Darby instead of the usual spot — Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Division II and III will be in different locales, too … Pickerington North and Westerville North, respectively.
That’s not to say it’ll be a completely new experience. Thanks to more than a few strong showings at Wednesday and Friday’s D-I regional showcase in Pickerington, the championship meet, as it seemingly always does, will feature plenty of Delaware County standouts.
Top field event performers from Wednesday, who will all be competing next week at Darby, include Olentangy Berlin’s Luke Walden and Olentangy Orange’s Jonathan Peterson, who finished second and third in the boys pole vault with respective efforts of 16-04 and 15-08; Olentangy Liberty’s Camryn Thompson, who picked up third-place points in the girls high jump after clearing 5-03; Delaware Hayes’ Orion Ward, who finished third in the boys long jump with a leap of 23-0; and Big Walnut’s Mark Ruffing, who nabbed runner-up honors in the boys discus with a toss of 145-05.
Friday’s field event finals yielded several state qualifiers as well. Orange’s Sara Borton finished second in the girls pole vault (12-04), the Pioneers’ Joel Addo was third in the boys high jump (6-02) and Olentangy’s Jaedyn Tucker finished fourth in the girls long jump (17-01).
The standout showings weren’t just limited to the field, either, as the track was just as kind to area athletes.
In the hurdle events, Olentangy’s Sydney Burrs and Big Walnut’s Alec Carr both kept their seasons alive with fourth-place finishes. Burrs was fourth in the girls 100 hurdles and Carr was fourth in the boys 110 event with respective times of 14.96 and 14.68 seconds. Burrs also advanced in the 300 hurdles, finishing fourth with an effort of 45.16 seconds.
Orange’s Ava Musgrove qualified in a pair of sprinting events. She earned second-place points in the girls 100 (12.10 seconds) and finished fourth in the girls 200 (25.39 seconds). Ward, meanwhile, added to his strong regional showing with a fourth-place effort in the boys 100 (10.79 seconds).
In the distance events, Olentangy’s Samantha Happel finished fourth in the 1,600-meter run (5:08.48).
Finally, one relay teams advanced as well. Orange’s girls 4×200 quartet of Josephine Davis, Celeste Conley, Abby Faulkner and Musgrove teamed up to finish fourth (1:44.36).
Orange’s girls finished highest in the final team standings, closing fourth with 38 points. Gahanna Lincoln, Watterson and Hilliard Davidson took spots one through three with respective point totals of 84, 68 and 46. Olentangy was 10th with 21 points, Liberty was 22nd with 10 and Big Walnut closed 30th with 3.
Big Walnut was the top area team in the boys’ division, closing 11th with 22 points. Orange was right behind in 12th with 20 points while Hayes finished 15th with 15, Berlin closed 24th with 8, Olentangy was 33rd with 3 and Liberty finished 36th with 2.
Darby won the boys’ title with 68 points while Pickerington North and Canal Winchester smoothed out the top three with respective totals of 57 and 50.