COLUMBUS — Three Greene County area athletes managed to advance through Friday’s June 2 preliminary rounds, at the OHSAA state track and field championships at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the Ohio State University campus.
They’ll join 10 other state finalists for Saturday’s June 3 final day of the meet.
Yellow Springs hurdler Julian Roberts advanced to Saturday’s 300-meter hurdles final in Division III.
“I feel pretty good about my run. I kinda messed up on a hurdle on a curve. But other than that, I got out better than I did at regionals,” Roberts said. “This is real exciting, because last year I didn’t move on. So this year, it’s nice to have a secure place in the finals.”
Roberts placed second in her heat, and had the third quickest time overall with a 45.27-second run. The D-III 300-meter final takes place at 10:40 a.m. Saturday, June 3.
Cedarville’s Devin Gruet and Brandon Pollock turned in mixed results in the D-III boys 400-meter preliminaries. Gruet finished third overall (second in his heat) to advance to Saturday’s 10:35 a.m. final. Pollock placed 13th overall and did not advance.
Area athletes were also involved in a pair of Division II preliminaries. Carroll’s Sam Janson ran in the boys 400-meter run, while the Carroll boys 1,600-meter relay team of Janson, Karl Grossman, Stafford Stevens and Dylan Tilt also had a preliminary round to fight through.
Janson finished with the fifth overall quickest time in the 400 (48.87 seconds) to advance. He said his experience at the state meet in 2016 has proven to be a big help this time around.
“It was a good start. Closing down in the final half of the race was tough. I saw the guy on my outside coming on, and so I had to really push it towards the end,” Janson said. “I was just trying to make the top-2 to get into the finals. I think it’s good enough to make the finals. (It was.)
“Last year, it was a huge crowd and everything is roped off for where you can’t go. Then there’s the white tent over there (used for runners to check in for their events, and then wait to be escorted to their starting areas). Everyone was bunched in together, it felt weird. I’m a lot more used to all that this year. It helps.”
Janson said he hopes to get a good carbohydrate intake for dinner Friday night, then a good night’s sleep before Saturday’s 2:05 p.m. final.
“I’ll recover well over night,” he laughed. “I just need an hour, actually, and I’d be good.”
The Carroll boys mile relay team did not advance, finishing seventh in a time of 3:23.32.
Everything is a final on Saturday.
Carroll’s Jacob Rieman is in the D-II discus final bright and early at 9:30 a.m., Xenia Legacy Christian Academy runner Isaac Erlundson is in the D-III boys 1,600-meter run finale at 10:05 a.m., Gruet has his 400 dash final at 10:35 a.m., and Roberts gets into her D-III hurdles final at 10:40 a.m.
Janson runs his D-II 400-meter final at 2:05 p.m., Greeneview’s Ocean Morris is in the D-II girls 800-meter final at 2:30 p.m., Carroll’s Mike Laughlin competes in the D-II boys 3,200-meter run at 2:45 p.m., and then things get busy at 3 p.m.
That’s when Beavercreek’s Jay Drennen is throwing discus, and fellow Battlin’ Beaver pole vaulter Eileen Yang, are competing at the same time! Okay, they both begin their competitions at 3, but you won’t see Yang winging a disc that weighs more than she does, nor will you see Drennen getting airborne. They’ll be at different areas of Owens Memorial Stadium.
Fellow Beaver Ben Ewert competes in the D-I 1,600-meter run at 5:15 p.m., then ‘Creek’s Stephanie Pierce competes in the girls D-I 800 run, while Ian Johnson follows her race with the boys 800.