RUSHVILLE, Ohio — The Eastern track and field team will have four representatives at the 2016 OHSAA Division III state meet, at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Friday and Saturday.
To qualify for the state meet, each athlete had to finish in the top-4 in the Region 11 finals, which took place at Fairfield Union High School, on Wednesday and Friday of last week.
The Lady Eagles — who finished third in the region with a team total of 40 — will be represented at state by juniors Alia Hayes and Laura Pullins, as well as sophomore Jessica Cook.
Hayes — who was a state-qualifier in the discus throw last year — will take part both the shot put and discus throw at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium this spring. On Wednesday, Hayes finished second in the region in the shot put, tossing a distance of 37-00. Alia followed up her performance on Friday, placing fourth in the discus throw, with a distance of 121-09.
Pullins will be making her third individual trip to the state meet, as she was fourth in the high jump, clearing 5-3. As a sophomore Pullins went the state in the 400m dash, while she competed in the high jump as a freshman. Laura also competed in the 400m dash (59.63) and 200m dash (27.41) at the Region 11 meet, finishing sixth and ninth respectively.
Also making her second individual state appearance for EHS is Cook, who was third in the 800m run, with a time of 2:19.10. Cook was a state-qualifier in the 1600m run last spring.
Eastern senior Kelsey Johnson was .07 seconds away from qualifying for state, finishing fifth in the 100m hurdles, with a time of 15.87. Johnson was 15th in the 300m hurdles (50.19) at the regional meet, on Wednesday.
The EHS 4x200m relay team of Annalisa Boano, Johnson, Cierra Smeeks and Pullins was less than one second from qualifying for state, but finished in fifth, with a time of 1:49.14. Boano was ninth in the 100m dash, with a time of 13.15 for EHS, missing the finals by .01 seconds.
The Lady Eagles’ 4x800m relay team — which had made four straight state meets — finished sixth in the region, with a time of 10:12.11. The members of the 2016 EHS 4x800m relay team are Cook, Ally Durst, Taylor Parker and Rhiannon Morris. As an individual, Durst was eight in the 1600m run with a time of 5:41.48.
Eastern’s 4x100m relay team of Boano, Brittney Leach, Smeeks and Johnson was 10th, with a time of 52.97, just .05 seconds away from qualifying for the finals. EHS sophomore Kaitlyn Hawk finished 14th in the 3200m run with a time of 13:28.49.
Mount Gilead won the girls’ team competition with a total of 55, followed by Colonel Crawford (47) and Eastern. A total of 47 teams scored in the Region 11, girls’ meet.
The lone Eastern boys state qualifier is Jett Facemyer, who claimed fourth in the region in the 800m run, with a time of 2:00.47. Facemyer was also fourth in the 800m at the regional meet last fall and will be making his second trip to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Also competing in the regional for EHS was junior Clayton Ritchie, who was 10th in the 300m hurdles, with a time of 43.00. The Eagles were tied for 28th overall, posting a score of five in the meet.
Southern — who finished tied for 35th in the regional, with three points — did not advance an athlete to the 2016 state meet.
Tornadoes’ sophomore Connor Wolfe was Southern’s best finisher in the regional, placing seventh in the 1600m run, with a time of 4:35.87.
Southern’s other point came from senior Joe Beegle, who was eighth in the shot put, with a distance of 46-00.25. On Wednesday, Beegle was 16th in the discus throw with a distance of 112-00.
Also on Wednesday, the SHS 4x800m relay team of Larry Dunn, Jason Counts, Joe Morris and Connor Wolfe was 13th, with a time of 9:03.44, while Tyler Pavich was 14th in the 400m dash, with a time of 55.68.
Mount Gilead also won the boys’ team competition with a total of 67, while Columbus Academy (54) was second and Nelsonville-York (53) was third. A total of 38 teams scored in the Region 11, boys’ meet.
Complete results of the 2016 Division III regional track and field championships at FUHS are available on the web at baumspage.com
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.