By Ben Stroup
Liberty’s Mitchell Towne won a regional title in the 800-meter run, finishing in 1:52.57 to headline a handful of solid showings by area standouts during Friday’s Division I regional championships in Pickerington.
Towne, who beat Dublin Coffman’s Tyndale Hannan by less than half a second to win a district title last weekend in Hilliard, edged Hannan again, this time by 16/100 of a second, to seal the deal. Olentangy’s Anthony Sasso also competed in the race, finishing fifth in 1:54.71 to see a solid season come to a close.
Towne’s effort earned him a spot in the upcoming state showcase at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium … and he won’t be alone.
His teammate Trevor Collins qualified for states in two separate events, earning runner-up honors in the 200 (22.10 seconds) and a fourth-place finish in the 100 (11.10 seconds).
Buckeye Valley’s Zach Kreft also kept his season alive, advancing with a fourth-place finish in the 3,200 (9:21.34), and Orange’s 1,600-meter relay team (T.J. Coates, Tyler King, Christian Wright and Zach Harrison) finished third in 3:21.51 to punch its ticket to the next round.
Others competing in Friday’s finals included Hayes’ Deven Ward, who finished sixth in the 200 and seventh in the 100 (closing in respective times of 22.77 and 11.20 seconds); Justin Hernan, who finished sixth in the 1,600 (4:25.61); Olentangy’s Zach Balthaser, who closed 12th in the 1,600 (4:41.32); Orange’s Jayden Rodgers, who finished seventh in the 110 hurdles (15.27 seconds); Liberty’s 400-meter relay team (Noah Meeker, Ben Rinsma, Daniel Blaine and Collins), which finished seventh (43.01 seconds); and Hayes’ 400-meter relay team (Elijah Harrell, Jacob Protheroe, Blain McCormick and Ward), which closed eighth (43.56 seconds).
In girls’ action, Orange’s Anna Watson won a regional championship in the pole vault. The junior cleared 12-0 while Olentangy’s Siobhan Szerencsits cleared 11-08 to earn a trip to states with a third-place finish.
The Braves’ Madeline Barnes and Hayes’ Madeline Hayes also competed in the event, finishing sixth and 12th with respective marks of 11-04 and 10-0.
On the track, Orange’s Allison Guagenti qualified for the state meet with a second-place finish in the 1,600-meter run (5:03.32).
Liberty’s Claire Linn also advanced, finishing fourth in the 800 (2:15.07). Guagenti also competed in the race, closing seventh (2:19.29).
In other action, the Patriots’ Abby Summers finished fifth in the 200 (25.30 seconds), Liberty’s Sydney Englehart closed seventh in the 400 (58.95 seconds), the Patriots’ Gracie Sprankle crossed the line sixth in the 3,200 (11:24.80), Orange’s Zoe Bond was 14th in the 3,200 (12:19.46), Liberty’s 800-meter relay team (Carrie Lawal, Englehart, Kelsey Mockler and Summers) finished sixth in 1:44.30 and Hayes’ 400-meter relay team (Brooke Glesenkamp, Ashley Smiley, Macie Wright and Torie Young) finished eighth in 49.80 seconds.
Orange’s Jordan Phelps and Jonathan Zhuravel, a sophomore and junior, respectively, battled into the second round before seeing their solid season end at the OHSAA Boys State Tennis Tournament Friday at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
The doubles duo, competing in Division I, knocked off Kenston’s Austin and Chloe Barr 6-4, 6-1 in the first round before falling to Copley’s Gavin Aten and Gustavo Garcia, a pair of seniors, 4-6, 3-6 in the second round.
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.