By John Bombatch
HUBER HEIGHTS —After crossing the rain-drenched finish line in third and earning his Skyhawks team the right to compete in next week’s regionals, 400-meter relay anchorman Adam Knaub turned left into the infield, waved to his coach in the Heidkamp Stadium stands, and just kept on running into the Wayne High School parking lot!
“He ran out of here to go get in his mom’s car, so’s she could take him to his graduation at the Nutter Center!” Fairborn coach Roy Thobe explained. He said another Fairborn track and field athlete — Sam Sherwood, who advanced by placing third in the shot put — also made a bee line to Wright State after qualifying to regionals.
“Sam PR’d his throw by two and a half feet, three inches, and so he’s moving on, too,” Thobe said. Sherwood’s toss went 48 feet, 9 3/4 inches.Knaub and his Skyhawk teammates Gracen Barnhart, Omar Inman and Brandon Easterling finished third in the 400 relay with a time of 44.74 seconds.
Knaub probably got to his mom’s car in about 12.
Fairborn’s Courtney Lawson finished third in the girls discus throw with a toss of 97 feet, 3 inches to advance as well.
Thobe hoped the boys 1,600 relay foursome of Jordan Greene, Inman, Joshua Greene and Barnhart would’ve been able to advance as well, but they finished fifth some 10 seconds behind the fourth-place team.
All of Friday’s Division I district events were finals, with the top-4 finishers advancing on to next week’s regional track and field championships at Welcome Stadium.
Xenia’s Tatum Washington will have a busy regionals weekend. The Buccaneer sprinter will be competing in the girls 100-meter dash, the 200 dash and she’ll team up with the girls 400 relay team, with teammates Konni Lorenz, Ahzjai Files and Shali Morris.
The girls were asked for their immediate thoughts after they won the 400 relay with a time of 50.30. Still tuckered from the race, their replies were as quick as they were.
“Accomplished,” said Washington with a beaming smile.
“It feels good to be moving on,” said Lorenz.
“It’s unbelievable!” added Files.
“It’s a real success!” said Morris.
Files will join Washington in the regional 100-meter dash field. She placed fourth to advance on Friday.
“It’s a great accomplishment to have Ahzjai advance in an individual event like that. I was glad to see that,” Xenia coach Matt Bartley said. The boys 400 relay team took their fifth-place finish pretty hard, but they’re all very young. They’ll be stronger from this next season.”
Fellow Bucs track coach Cedric Tolbert said the Xenia team has some motivation to do well. They recently were told that the school would be building a new track at Adams Stadium in Xenia.
“We just gotta keep working at it, we’re trying to make Xenia proud,” Tolbert said. “The community has done a lot for us, we’ve got a big football stadium and I’ve heard they’re building a track for us soon. We just wanna do our part. Our part is to come out here and win, and to make people proud to be a Xenia Buccaneer.”
The Division I and III regional track and field tournaments get started Wednesday (DI is at Welcome Stadium; DIII is at Troy Memorial Stadium). Division II’s regional tourney begins on Thursday at Welcome Stadium.