The podium was a busy place at the OHSAA state track and field championship held over the weekend at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium … and more than a few of the athletes who reached the top were wearing orange.
Olentangy Orange’s girls 4×100 relay team — the quartet of Josephine Davis, Ava Musgrove, Cassidy Shimp and Teresa Christian — won a state title in a school-record 47.55 seconds, becoming the first outdoor state champion relay team in school history.
They beat out Gahanna Lincoln’s squad, which beat them in last week’s regional final race in Pickerington, by less than half a second to take the crown. Twinsburg smoothed out the top three with a time of 48.01 seconds.
The Pioneers’ boys were just as dominant, getting standout showings from the likes of Joel Addo and Bobby Ogles to earn the team’s first state runner-up trophy.
Addo was a point-producing machine. He won a D-I crown in the high jump, clearing 6-08 — a new personal best and program record. He also picked up third-place points in the long jump with a mark of 23-05.25.
Three others cleared 6-8 in the high jump — Mansfield Senior’s Maurice Ware, Howland’s Connor Durig and Tallmadge’s Riley Murphy — by Addo was the only jumper to clear the first six heights without missing a single attempt. None of the four remaining jumpers managed to clear the bar once it was moved to 6-09, so Addo captured the crown thanks to fewer misses.
Ogles, meanwhile, finished fifth in the state in the discus with a new PR and school-record toss of 157-11.
Other Orange state placers included the boys 4×800 team of Saketh Rudraraju, Matthew Schroff, Carter Giacomelli and Bryan King (sixth in 7:53.48), the boys 4×100 team of Jemal Burton, Jordan Rudolph, Tyler Wallace and Gabe Torres (sixth in 41.99 seconds) and Rudraraju in the 3,200-meter run (fifth in 9:09.43).
Orange wasn’t the only county team to walk away with a state placer, either.
Big Walnut’s Alec Carr was less than a tenth of a second away from claiming a state title of his own. He finished second in the final of the boys 110 hurdles with an effort of 13.98 seconds. Cincinnati Northwest’s Malachi Snow was the only athlete to finish faster, crossing the line in 13.91 seconds.
Other standouts included Olentangy’s Reilly Worthington, who finished fourth in the boys discus (158-06); Olentangy Berlin’s Cooper Citro, who was fifth in the boys 800 (1:55.12); Buckeye Valley’s Grace Daily, who was sixth in the D-II girls 100-meter dash (12.44 seconds); and Olentangy Liberty’s Camryn Thompson, who finished eighth in the girls high jump (5-04).
In other action, the Patriots’ Michelle Ezenekwe finished 11th in the girls discus (114-10), Olentangy’s Chayla Rankin was 14th in the girls high jump (5-02), Worthington closed 17th in the boys shot put (48-05.75), Berlin’s Deanara Mbouge finished 13th in the girls shot put (38-00.25), Orange’s Taylor Hill closed in a three-way tie for ninth in the girls pole vault (11-06) and the Braves’ Hugh Jacobsmeyer closed 17th in the boys 800-meter run (1:59.60).