Colonel Crawford’s Chad Johnson, Northmor’s Meechie Johnson bring home gold medals
COLUMBUS — Galion’s Colin McCullough, Northmor’s Meechie Johnson and Colonel Crawford’s Chad Johnson won state championships over the weekend at the state track and field meet at Jesse Owens stadium.
McCullough claimed a state championship for the Tigers on Saturday in the 300-meter hurdles. The Galion graduate edged Bryce Ostheimer of Milan Edison in the event, 37.77 to 37.92 to collect the gold.
McCullough’s time Saturday was a personal record time and also broke his own school record, established a week earlier at the regional track meet. In the 110-meter hurdles, McCullough was third with a time of 14.61 seconds.
“It was definitely a mixed bag,” McCullough said. “Both of the hurdle events, I couldn’t be happier with. The hiccup in the 4×200 was a bit difficult to deal with, but it helped me prepare for the 300.”
When asked about seeing his name atop the board, McCullough said: “There are no words that I can find to describe it. I see all of the training, all of the extra hours put in culminating to the gold medal.”
McCullough, who graduated Friday and was presented with his diploma by Galion athletics director Kyle Baugh while receiving his third place medal in the 110 hurdles, will attend Ohio Northern University and plans on running track for the Polar Bears.
For Colonel Crawford, Chad Johnson and Brad Bauer were the only ones to compete in Saturday’s Division III meet.
Johnson won the 3,200 in 9:20.38, finishing more than 12 seconds ahead of runner-up Joey Schlich from Steubenville Central Catholic.
“The heat played a big deal out there, and I wasn’t too excited about it when I got here,” Johnson says. “My goal was to break 9:09 and after the first two laps, I could tell that wasn’t going to happen, so I just focused on winning.”
Johnson, a junior, won a state cross country title in the fall.
Bauer’s 3,200 time was 10:04.37 to finish 11th overall and wrap up his high school career. He is headed to Sienna Heights University in Adrian, Michigan to run cross country for his uncle, Tim Bauer.
The big story on Friday’s opening day was Northmor’s Meechie Johnson, who became the Division III boys long jump champion. After winning the gold as a freshman in 2015, Meechie was not in action at Owens Stadium last year. But on Friday, he went 22 feet 10 ¼ inches to capture the crown by nearly eight inches over Grandview Heights’ Jordan Beight.
“It feels pretty good,” he said. “I knew my final jump felt pretty good. I’ve been jumping pretty consistent and I was hoping to get a 23 (foot jump).”
Also on Saturday, Galion’s 4×400 relay team of Colbey Fox, Takoda Crisman, McCullough and Harrison Ivy turned in a time of 3:23.48 and placed sixth.
In Saturday’s 4×200 relay finale, Galion finished last because if a missed baton handoff. Galion’s time was 1:41.55. Running on that relay were McCullough, Crisman and Caleb and Harrison Ivy.
Harrison Ivy qualifed for Saturday’s finale in the 400, but opted not to participate to save energy for the relays.
Galion’s Marissa Gwinner was the first athlete to compete Friday, in the girls Division II high jump. After winning gold at the Lexington regional, Gwinner started the competition by easily clearing the first four heights. She missed her first attempt of the morning at 5 feet, 6 inches, but advanced on her next try. After three misses at 5-feet-7, Gwinner was eliminated, but earned a spot on the podium as the fourth-place finisher. Alyssa Matheny from Akron Manchester won the event at 5-8.
McCullough qualified for Saturday’s 100 meter hurdles with a time of 14:36 seconds. It was the top time in the Division II prelims. He also advanced in the 300 hurdles, finishing with the day’s third best time of 39.13.
In the 4×200 relay, McCullough was joined by Takoda Crisman and Caleb and Harrison Ivy. The Tigers’ foursome finished in 1:29.95 to advance to Saturday’s finale as the No. 3 seed.
In the 4×400 relay, Colbey Fox, Crisman, McCullough and Harrison Ivy crossed the finish line in 3:22.72 to qualify with the fifth best time of the day.
Harrison Ivy qualified for state in the 400-meter dash, but elected not to participate to save energy for the relays.
In the girl’s 4×100 relay, Galion’s Kerrigan Myers, Jalyn Oswald, Gwinner and Kylie Redman turned in a time of 50.08 seconds, but did not advance.
Northmor hurdler Kolton Smith finished the Division III hurdles in 15.17 seconds, but did not advance.
Knights’ teammate James Walker would race in the 300-meter hurdles later on in the morning and finished in 41.10 seconds, 13th overall.
The Knights’ 4×400 relay team of Meechie Johnson, Walker, Calvin Komer and Alec Moore had the 13th best time in Friday’s prelims at 3:28.53, but failed to advance.
Walker cleared 5 feet, 10 inches in the high jump on Friday afternoon, but did not advance.
For Colonel Crawford, Sam Mutchler was 12th in the high jump, clearning 5 feet, 2 inches.
Also, the Lady Eagles’ 4×100-meter relay quartet of Pierce Krassow, Kirsten Vehrs, Sam Mutchler and Reegan Goyer finished in 51.22 seconds, but did qualify for Saturday’s finals.