PIQUA — The Division II regional track and field championships were a contrast of emotions for two Greene County athletes, May 26 at Alexander Stadium.
Greeneview senior Ocean Morris exploded past her rivals on the final turn, then pulled away down the front stretch to win the girls 800-meter run finals. Placing in the top-4 earned the ecstatic Morris her second trip to the state championships, and first as a Greeneview Ram.
Morris found herself stuck in fifth place as the eight-runner field headed into the final turns, in the 800-meter final. That’s when she found another gear and began to pick off her opponents one-by-one. By the time the field had rounded the fourth turn, Morris had taken over the lead and she began pulling away.
Her finish time of 2:17 flat was 1.68 seconds quicker than the second-place time of Tipp City Tippecanoe’s Kailey Titley.
“She ran her race plan right to a T, and was right on her (lap times). She was right there,” Greeneview coach Tim Aronholt said, moments after presenting medals to Morris and the rest of the 800-meter competitors. “We were just hoping that everybody went out too fast at the start. But she kicked it in, and she ran the plan perfectly. It was beautiful.”
Morris had previously qualified to the state meet two years ago, when she was a sophomore at Miamisburg High School.
Meanwhile, Carroll senior Sonja Kosir came away almost shell-shocked after running the girls 100-meter hurdles final. Kosir initially placed fifth, missing out on qualifying for Columbus by a mere 0.02 seconds.
That hurt bad enough, but then she was later informed that one of her hurdles had inadvertently been knocked into another competitor’s lane, and so she was disqualified from the event as well.
Kosir was still in tears as she tried to explain her feelings of having her high school track career come to a bitter end.
“It’s always hard to have a last race. Everyone has that last race. This is not the way I wanted to go out — two one hundredths from state. It’s bitter, but it was a good race.
“I almost got a sub 16-second run, so that was good. I really didn’t expect to be here, so I am happy to be here.”
Kosir will attend the University of Cincinnati next fall. She said she might pursue club track & field, but hadn’t made any definite plans.
While Carroll’s Nikki Gazzerro (high jump), Jacob Rieman (discus), Mike Laughlin (3,200), Sam Janson (400) and the Patriots boys 1,600-meter relay team of Janson, Karl Grossman, Stafford Stevens and Dylan Tilt qualified to state on Thursday, Morris was the lone Greene County-area track and field athlete to qualify to the state meet during Saturday’s final day of regional competition.
The state meet takes place June 2-3 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the Ohio State University campus, in Columbus. The D-II meet is set to begin Friday June 2 with field events at 9:30 a.m., followed by 3,200 relay finals set to get under way at 1:30 p.m., with running preliminaries set for 2 p.m.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.