By ROB HAMILTON
Northmor’s Demetrius Johnson claimed his school’s first state title in track and field since Ian Connor won the 3200 in 1997 on Friday when he took first place in the Division III long jump with an effort of 22’4.25”.
Johnson got that leap at the best possible time. After going 19’4.5” in his first attempt and fouling on his second, he needed a big effort simply to qualify for the finals. On his third leap, he recorded his winning jump and was able to hold on to the day’s best effort through the final three attempts.
The Knight freshman’s championship highlighted a busy day among area track and field athletes.
Freshman Marisa Gwinner earned a high place on the podium Friday by taking third place in the Division II high jump, clearing 5’5” to do so.
A pair of Tiger relays have an excellent chance to also place, as both the 400-meter and 800-meter girls’ teams advanced through the semifinal heats.
The 400-meter relay team of Alasha Williams, Michaela Slone, Sydney Hunt and Clair Erlsten not only won their heat, but finished with the fastest time of the afternoon to earn the top seed going into tomorrow’s finals. They finished in 48.94.
In the 800-meter relay, Erlsten, M’Lynn Gwinner, Slone and Williams advanced to the finals with the sixth fastest time of 1:44.53.
Mount Gilead Indians
Mount Gilead’s Jenna Shipman finished her junior season on the podium, as she placed seventh in the Division III long jump with an effort of 17’2”.
Shipman also competed in a pair of relays for the Lady Indians. She teamed with Rachel Bush, Bryanna Bolha and Hannah Bush to place 10th in the 3200-meter relay in a time of 9:46.44. That relay is the only running event competed as a final during Friday’s action.
Later, in the 1600-meter relay, Shipman, Rachel Bush and Bolha teamed with Morgan Brooke to finish 16th in the semifinals in 4:13.77.
Brooke, Makaylee Elkin, Rebecca Kindred and Olivia Brewer finished 15th in the 800-meter relay semis with a time of 1:50.12. Brewer also ran in the 100, where she was 12th in 12.78, and the 200, where she finished 14th in 26.56.
The Mount Gilead boys competed in two events in the Division II meet on Friday. The 3200-meter relay squad of Joseph Elson, Tyler Beck, Ethan Hatfield and Austin Hallabrin placed 10th in 8:03.71. Sawyer Shipman competed in the 300 hurdles, where he had the 13th-fastest time of 40.51.
Colonel Crawford Eagles
Callie Ruffener reached the podium in the Division III pole vault, as she finished in a tie for seventh place after clearing 10’6”.
Teammate Alex Carter also was in the pole vault. She cleared 9’6” to finish in a tie for 12th. Another Eagle, Megan Lyons, was in the discus, where she took 13th place with a heave of 109’.
Also competing for the Eagles was the 400-meter relay team of Ruffener, Alyssa Spears, Kristen Verhes and Sam Mutchler. They ran 15th in 52.53.
Clear Fork Colts
Briana Brauchler advanced to the finals of the Division II 100-meter dash on Friday. Competing in the semifinals, the senior sprinter recorded the eighth-best qualifying time of 12.23.
Brauchler also competed in a pair of relays along with Elizabeth Staab, Brittney Hart and Lauren Callen. The quartet had the 11th-fastest time of 50.3 in the 400-meter relay and were 13th in the 800-meter relay in 1:47.49.
In the boys’ shot put, also in Division II, Eric Jackson placed 11th with a throw of 51’3.5”.
Highland had one competitor in the state track and field meet. Lydia Morgan ran in the Division II girls’ 300-meter hurdles, where she finished 15th in 49.99.