By John Bombatch
HUBER HEIGHTS — While neither Fairborn or Xenia advanced any student athletes in any of the seven Division I Southwest District final events that were contested on Wednesday at Wayne High School’s Heidkamp Stadium, both teams had athletes move on through the preliminaries to Friday’s finals.
“Tatum (Washington) has already qualified twice, Ahzjai (Files) has already qualified, Konni (Lorenz) is getting ready to qualify in the 4×100 … so we should be all right coming back on Friday,” Xenia coach Matt Bartley said. “If the boys 4×100 makes it to Friday, it’s going to be a really good thing for them and coach Ced (Cedric Tolbert).
“There’ve been times this year where we were really banged up, and we were running 6-7 guy in the 4×100 because of those injuries. But coach Ced is like a swing doctor where he’s always finding ways to improve the guys’ times.”
Tolbert planned on working on handoffs today in preparation for Friday’s finals. He’ll be working with that 400 relay team of D’Metri Wilson, Tylor Peterson, Jonny Shampton Jr., and Anthony Holder, as they finished sixth to advance to Friday’s finals.
In the preliminary events, the top eight times moved on to Friday’s finals.
The boys discus, pole vault and long jump, the girls high jump and shot put, and both boys and girls 3,200-meter relays events on Wednesday were finals, with the top-4 finishers moving on to next week’s regional championships. Neither Fairborn or Xenia advanced anyone in Wednesday’s finals.
Xenia advanced athletes in the boys 800 relay (Christian Lair, Kario Greene, Wilson and Holder), the girls 100 dash (Files and Washington), the girls 400 relay (Files, Washington, Lorenz and Shali Morris) and the girls 200 (Washington).
Fairborn moved athletes to Friday in the boys 110 Hurdles (Omar Inman), boys 400 relay (Gracen Barnhart, Inman, Andre Lucas and Adam Knaub), the boys mile relay (Jordan Greene, Inman, Lucas, Barnhart) and in the girls 100 (Brittany Hogan), the girls 800 relay (Vanessa Calloway, Carlyn Young, Nala Gardner and Brittany Hogan), and the 400 relay (Calloway, Young, Isabella Carone and Gardner).
What probably stuck in Fairborn coach Roy Thobe’s craw a bit was the one relay team that didn’t advance. His boys 800-meter relay team was nosed out of the eighth and final transfer spot by .01 of a second by a New Carlisle Tecumseh quartet and the Skyhawks finished ninth.
“Our freshman long jumper, Joshua Greene, jumped his personal best, and both of our 100-meter hurdlers (Inman and Jordan Greene) PR’d — Omar is sitting third fastest going into Friday’s finals, which is where you want to be since the top-4 qualify for regionals. Jordan unfortunately didn’t advance, and our 4×800 didn’t make it either. Little disappointed in that, but we’ll continue to work hard and advance as many as we can,” Thobe said.
Friday’s finals will also include the mile run, 800 run and 3,200 runs.
The Southwest District track and field championships will continue on Friday at Huber Heights Wayne’s Heidkamp Stadium, with the the remaining field events beginning at 5 p.m., and running finals set to get started at 6:30 p.m.