COLUMBUS — The track and field squads from Colonel Crawford and Northmor High School’s were busy in Columbus on Friday and Saturday at the 2018 State Track and Field Champsionships, held at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University.
Crawford sent a total of four boys and just one girl to state while Northmor saw five boys and one girl representing the gold and black in Columbus.
On Friday morning, the Eagles 4×800-meter relay squad of Cody Reed, Braxton James, Brody Martin and Chad Johnson took to the track looking to get Crawford started on the right track. The foursome would go on to post a time of 8:07.68, less than four seconds shy of the school record, to earn seventh place and a spot on the podium. The winning team hailed from Worthington Christian, turning in a championship time of 7:50.92.
While the season and careers would come to an end for seniors Reed and Martin, James and Johnson still had races to run on Saturday.
Junior James was in action on the track in the 800-meter run but would see his season end with an 18th place finish as he crossed the line with a time of 2:00.91. Josh Conrad of East Canton took home the title in a time of 1:53.99.
As for Johnson, he was supposed to run in both the 1600 and 3200-meter runs at state on Saturday, the same agenda as in 2017. Much like a season ago, Chad opted out of the one-mile race and set his focus on repeating as the Division III champion in the two-mile later in the day. Johnson got out to a roaring start in the 3200 and would not look back. Distancing himself from the field early, it became apparent that the title was Johnson’s and his alone. When the gun sounded to signify the final lap of the eight lap race, Johnson turned up the pace further. In fact, Chad’s final lap of the run was his fastest of the day at 1:02.84 as he cruised to a second consecutive title in the event with a time of 9:05.43. That time, aside from giving him the win by nearly 20 seconds, also set the new Ohio Division III mark as well as the Division III state meet mark. Johnson competed in the two-mile run in all four seasons of his storied high school career, starting with a seventh place finish in his freshman year and a runner-up finish in his sophomore season before winning it all in his final two seasons.
The Lady Eagles lone competitor at the state meet was jumper Drew Krassow. Krassow would finish in ninth in the field, just missing a podium and All-Ohio spot after clearing a height of 5-feet, 2-inches. Julia Smith of Swanton won the event with a championship height of 5-feet, 7-inches.
For Northmor, they would see all of their competitors in action in some form on the first day of the meet, starting with the preliminaries for the 4×100 and 4×200-meter relay races on the boys side. In the 4×200-relay, the squad of Meechie Johnson, Drew Zoll, Adam Petulla and Conan Becker would post a time of 1:31.22, the sixth fastest in the field, to qualify them for the finals on Saturday morning. The 4×100-relay team, consisting of the same runners, would not have the same luck just minutes later as they failed to qualify for finals after a time of 45.06 seconds saw them finishing 17th in the 18-team field.
Later in the day on Friday, Hope Miracle, the Lady Golden Knights only state qualifer, took to the field for action in the pole vault. After coming in at 9-feet, 6-inches and clearing with ease, it was on to 10-feet, which Miracle cleared on her first attempt as well. It took two attempts to clear the next height of 10-feet, 6-inches but Miracle looked to keep her All-Ohio bid alive, moving on to 11-feet. Unfortunately for Hope and the Lady Knights, that’s where her high school vaulting career would end as she missed all three of her attempts to finish in a tie for eighth overall. The winner of the girls pole vault was repeat champion, Kassidie Stimmel of Margaretta at 12-feet even.
Also in action on Friday evening were pole vaulter Tony Martinez and Meechie in the long jump.
Martinez would make it from the starting height of 11-feet, 6-inches all the way through 13-feet but would be unable to clear 13-feet, 6-inches therefore ending his postseason run. Martinez would finish in 12th place in the packed field and miss out on a podium and All-Ohio spot in his junior season. In the long jump, Meechie was looking to defend his title from a season ago and finish his high school career as a three-time champion in the event. Johnson won the Division III long jump title as a freshman before finishing 13th as a sophomore. After roughly an hour and a half of weather delays, Meechie was finally able to take to the runway in the long jump area. Johnson would start the day with a foul and, after getting in a few decent jumps, would end his day with a foul on what could’ve been a championship-distance bound. His longest effort of 21’9½” would earn him third place in the field and a spot on the All-Ohio squad for the third time in four years. C.J. Charelston of Gilmour would take home the crown in the event with a jump of 22’5¾”.
On Saturday morning, the Golden Knights’ 4×200-relay team kicked-off the action for the day with a time of 1:30.33 to earn fourth place in the race and a spot on the podium in Becker and Johnson’s final events wearing the gold and black. In that very tight race, the foursome from Youngstown Valley Christian would take the top spot, finishing with a championship time of 1:29.84.
Northmor’s Hope Miracle capped her high school career with a share of eighth place in the Division III girls pole vault at the state meet on Friday, June 1. Miracle went 10-feet, 6-inches en route to earning her All-Ohio spot for the Lady Golden Knights.
Meechie Johnson, shown here taking off during his sixth and final attempt in the long jump, would finish in third overall at the state meet after he fouled on his final jump. Meechie was the Division III champion in 2015 and 2017 in the event.
Colonel Crawford’s Chad Johnson stands atop the podium for a second consecutive year after winning the Division III 3200-meter run at the state meet on Saturday, June 2. Johnson earned the title by posting a time of 9:05.43 to set a new DIII state record and DIII state meet record.
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