Defending state champ and current outdoor state record holder Anna Watson did it again Friday in Pickerington, winning a regional title in the girls pole vault with an effort of 12-08 — a new Division I, Region 3 record.
The senior cruised to the regional win, clearing 12-0 and 12-08 on her first attempts. She tried to set a new state record after wrapping up the title, but missed all three tries at 13-07.
The event’s other three state qualifiers are from the Olentangy School District as well. Olentangy’s Siobhan Szerencsits finished second with an effort of 12-04, Liberty’s Sam Silber finished third with a mark of 12-0 and Olentangy’s Madeline Barnes closed fourth with a 12-0 mark of her own.
Others who earned top-four finishes and advanced to the state showcase in field events included Big Walnut’s Brandon Mosher, who won a regional title in the boys shot put with a throw of 57-03.50; and Orange’s Grace Frye, who finished third in the girls discus (129-06).
Orange and Liberty sophomores Allison Guagenti and Grace Sprankle both qualified for the state showcase on the track, finishing second and third in the girls 1,600 with respective times of 4:56.86 and 4:58.78.
Others who advanced included Orange’s Jayden Rodgers, who nabbed regional runner-up honors in the boys 110 hurdles with an effort of 14.40 seconds; Liberty’s Emma Bower, who finished second in the girls 3,200 in 10:50.11; the Pioneers’ Hunter Moore, who finished second in the boys 3,200 in 9:02.51; Buckeye Valley’s Zach Kreft, who finished third in the boys 1,600 in 4:13.31; and Olentangy’s Anthony Sasso, who finished third in the boys 800 in 1:54.03.
A handful of relay teams also advanced with solid regional races. Orange’s boys 4×200 team (Joel Sarpong, TJ Coates, Zach Harrison and Kevin Acheampong) finished second in 1:27.21, its boys 4×100 squad (Brandon Ransom, Harrison, Sarpong and Rodgers) finished fourth in 42.21 seconds and its boys 4×400 team (Coates, Tyler King, Christian Wright and Harrison) finished second in 3:19.96.
Olentangy’s boys 4×400 team also advanced as Jeremy Kendle, Sasso, Joel Michael and Zach Balthaser combined to finish fourth in 3:20.47.
The Track and Field State Tournament is slated for Friday and Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of OSU.
Olentangy junior Stu Brdicka saw his stellar season come to an end Friday, falling to Solon senior Vlad Rotnov in the first round of the Division I state tennis tournament in Mason.
Brdicka won the first set 6-2, but lost the second and third by respective scores of 0-6 and 4-6.
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.