HUBER HEIGHTS — The nerves were gone, and defending regional champ Eileen Yang of Beavercreek was flying at the Division I regional track and field championships at Wayne High School’s Heidkamp Stadium.
Yang admitted to a bout of over thinking her meets in previous weeks, but the Beavers sophomore seemed cool and collected as she won the Division I girls pole vaulting competition on May 25.
After winning the event with a 12-foot vault a year ago, Yang cleared 12-4 this time — with fewer misses than runner-up and fellow sophomore Riley Hunt — to repeat as title holder. As a result, she’ll be making her second trip to the state championships next weekend.
“Going to state last year really helped me, because I was able to better adapt to situations more,” Yang said, moments after stepping off the awards podium. “The last two weeks, I lost my head completely. I’m really happy today. I was focused, … I wasn’t freaking out … it was pretty good.”
Yang’s Beavercreek teammates claimed individual medals too.
Stephanie Pierce placed second in the girls 800-meter run to move on to state as did close friends and girls 3,200-meter running teammates Taylor Ewert and Jody Pierce (Stephanie’s younger sister) who finished second and third respectively in that event to advance.
Carroll made headlines, twice.
In its first season as a Division I program, having competed in D-II last season, boys track runners Sam Janson and Karl Grossman became the first two Carroll Patriots to earn spots in the Division I state championship track and field meet with their finishes on Friday.
Janson placed fourth in the boys 400-meter race to advance. After a spirited and friendly battle with Beavercreek’s Riley Buchholz, Grossman placed fourth in the 800 while Buchholz was second.
Earlier in the week, a pair of Bellbrook track and field athletes (Ayden Bullock in the boys discus and McKenna Kramer in the girls high jump) had earned their respective spots in the state championship, along with the Beavercreek girls 3,200-meter relay team of Pierce, Pierce, Ashtyn Gluck and Ewert.
Area schools also competed in the Division II and III regional championships as well this weekend. We’ll have a complete rundown of the area track and field athletes from all three regionals, and how they finished next week.
The state championships will take place Friday and Saturday, June 1-2, at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.