COLUMBUS — High School track and field athletes from all throughout the state gathered at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University on Friday and Saturday for the 112th annual boys and 45th annual girls tournament.
Among those athletes were 11 members of the Galion Tigers, eight members of the Colonel Crawford Eagles, six Northmor Golden Knights and one member of the Clear Fork Colts.
Of those 26 student athletes, there would be just one state champion crowned in the group; Kerrigan Myers from Galion.
Myers entered the 100-meter hurdles preliminaries on Friday with the second fastest time from regionals and third fastest across all three divisions. Myers turned in a preliminary time of 14.17 to enter Saturday’s finals as the top qualifier, slightly ahead of two-time state champion and division II record holder, Leah King of Perry (13.89). In Saturday’s action, Myers played spoiler to King’s potential three-peat as champion as she crossed the finish line in first place with a time of 14.10, edging King by 0.06 seconds. Myers finished sixth in the event last year at state as a sophomore (14.77). Myers also qualified for the state meet in the 200-meter dash but was a late scratch from the event. Makiya Montgomery of Beechcroft claimed the gold in the 200 with a time of 24.12.
Of the area participants, there would also be two field athletes on the boys side earning state runner-up honors.
Galion’s Jack McElligott cleared a new school record height of 6-feet, 7-inches on Saturday morning to earn eight points and All-Ohio honors in the high jump, an event he had not done since middle school. McElligott was able to clear that height on his third and final attempt to secure both the runner-up spot and the school record in his last meet as a Tiger. Robie Glass of Springfield Shawnee, state champion in 2017, won the event at 6-feet, 8-inches while last year’s state champ, Uriah Schwemley of Shelby, finished third overall.
Colonel Crawford junior Alex Mutchler would also take home state runner-up honors with his performance in the Division III boys pole vault. Mutchler cleared a height of 14-feet, 8-inches, a new personal record, en route to the eight points for the Eagles. Mutchler cleared the height on his third and final attempt before missing three times at 15-feet. Ansonia junior Brock Shellhaas won the event, clearing 15-feet, 5-inches.
In other field event action, the Lady Eagles’ Drew Krassow cleared a height of 5-feet, 4-inches in the Division III girls high jump to head home with third place honors. Krassow, a junior, sailed over that height before skipping 5’5” but missed her first and only attempt at 5’6”. Mallory Mullen, a freshman from Springfield Catholic Central won the event, clearing 5-feet, 7-inches.
On Friday afternoon, the Lady Tigers’ 4×100-meter relay team of Jalyn Oswald, Brooklyn Cosey, Myers and Kaitlin Bailey turned in a preliminary qualifying time of 48.85, earning them the third fastest time in the field. In the finals on Saturday, the Galion foursome posted a time of 48.74 which earned them third place and six points towards their total. The Tigers finished seventh at the state meet a season ago. Dayton Chaminade Julienne won the race in 47.89.
Katie Ruffener, a Crawford freshman, finished fifth in the 100-hurdles in Saturday’s finals, turning in a time of 15.16. Ruffener qualified for the event in seventh (15.13) while teammate Cassidy Vogt came in 13th in the preliminaries (15.70) and would not qualify for the finals. Calista Manns of Grove City Christian and Division III state record holder in the event (13.99) won the race in 14.39. Ruffener also earned a trip to state in the 300-meter hurdles but would not advance to Saturday’s finals after a prelim time of 47.71 put her 13th in the field. Manns also won the 300-hurdles by just 0.01 seconds (43.37).
Hanif Donaldson, Colbey Fox and Braxton Tate were also down at the state meet representing Galion’s boys team.
Donaldson’s best jump in the long jump on the day was his third leap, sending him 21’3½”. That distance would hold up to give Donaldson a sixth place finish overall to wrap up his freshman season. Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy’s Tre Tucker would repeat as the state champion with a winning jump of 23’3½”.
Fox would turn in a preliminary time of 49.58 in the 400-meter dash on Friday to put him as the seventh qualifier in Saturday’s finals. Fox would run his final race for the Galion Tigers in 49.63, earning a spot on the podium in seventh place. Matt McBride of Conneaut won the dash with a time of 47.91.
Tate wrapped his junior season for Galion by placing seventh in the field in the Division II 3200-meter run. Tate completed his eight-lap race in a time of 9:42.82. Caleb Brown of Shelby paced the field and won the state title in a time of 9:29.58 to earn 10 points for the DII state champion team.
Earning final spots on the podium for their respective teams were the Northmor boys 4×100-relay squad and Clear Fork freshman Ethan Staley.
The Golden Knights grouping of Drew Zoll, Aaron Berg, Adam Petulla and PJ Lower qualified for finals in the fifth fastest time of 44.06 and would turn in a time of 44.22 in Saturday’s finals to earn eighth place for the black and gold. Columbiana Crestview won the event in a time of 42.87.
Staley, who received an at-large bid to the Division II state meet, made the most of his trip in his first season, clearing a height of 14-feet, 2-inches in the pole vault to snag a point and All-Ohio honors by finishing eighth in the field. Miami East vaulter Blaine Brokschmidt won the title, clearing a height of 15-feet, 6-inches.
Also in action from the above-mentioned four schools were: Galion boys 4×200-meter relay (Kalib Griffin, Evan Barker, Isaiah Alsip, Colbey Fox)- 13th in prelims, 1:30.80; Galion’s Brooklyn Cosey, long jump- 16th, 15’3¾”; Crawford boys 4×200-relay (Mutchler, Colton Rowland, Gavin Trubee, Braxton James)- 15th in prelims, 1:33.51; James- 800-meter run, 9th, 1:56.58; Crawford’s Jilliane Gregg- discus, 18th, 101-feet, 11-inches; Northmor 4×400-meter relay (Zoll, Gavvin Keen, Petulla, Alec Moore)- 17th in prelims, 3:40.87; Northmor’s Tony Martinez- pole vault, 11th, 13-feet, 6-inches.
In the Division II scoring, the Galion girls (16 points) and boys teams (15 points) both finished 13th overall in the field. Shelby won the boys title with 57 points, dethroning last year’s champs CVCA (42 points). On the girls side, Indian Hill won the team title, scoring 43 points to outlast the runner-ups from Oakwood (28 points).
East Canton won their third consecutive title in the Division III boys standings, tallying 42 points to hold off Columbiana Crestview (36 points). On the girls side, West Liberty-Salem claimed their first-ever crown with 50 points while Archbold came in second with 39 points. Crawford’s boys tallied eight points, good for 26th while Northmor netted just the one point. The Lady Eagles finished 24th in the girls field with 10 points scored.
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