COLUMBUS, Ohio — Mother Nature managed to rain on most everyone’s parade Friday during Day 1 of the 2012 OHSAA Track and Field Championships held at Jesse Owens Stadium on the campus of the Ohio State University.
From start to finish, scattered showers wreaked havoc on the competition— causing qualifying times and event finals to suffer in both speed and distance. The inclement weather, however, was equally tough on all competitors — which left the athletes on an even keel battling the elements.
Locally, there were a few bright spots on an otherwise lousy day — as two athletes ultimately accomplished their Day 1 goals.
Eastern senior Tyler Cline completed his high school career in style Friday by placing fourth for a second straight year in the Division III discus event. Cline scored five team points for the Eagles with a throw of 165 feet, 8 inches, and he also bested last year’s throw by more than 10 feet for a new personal record.
It is the third consecutive year that the Eastern boys have scored at least 1.5 points as a team at the D-3 meet, with last season’s total of 10 points being the school record. Cline also becomes the first Eagle to score a podium finish at two different state competitions.
The other good news of the day came from Gallia Academy’s Hannah Watts in the 400m dash, as the sophomore qualified for Saturday’s final with a time of 59.83 seconds. Watts recorded the ninth-fastest time in Division II and was also the last qualifier.
Watts will join teammate Peyton Adkins (1600) and Southern junior Kody Wolfe (1600 and 3200) in event finals on Saturday.
For the rest of the local field, Friday marked the end of their respective 2012 track and field seasons.
Starting in Division III, the Eastern girls 4x800m relay team of Taylor Palmer, Maddie Rigsby, Savannah Hawley and Keri Lawrence finished 15th overall with a time of 10:10.08. The Lady Eagles quartet of Hawley, Lawrence, Rigsby and Jenna Burdette also placed 15th in their 4x200m relay qualifer.
The 4x400m relay team of Rigsby, Hawley, Burdette and Palmer finished 16th overall in qualifying with a mark of 4:21.76. Rigsby was 14th overall in the high jump final with a height of 4 feet, 10 inches. Burdette finished 16th in the long jump final with a leap of 14 feet, 10.25 inches.
In Division II, senior Tyler Campbell just missed a podium effort after placing ninth in the long jump with a distance of 20 feet, 11.5 inches. Campbell was the only Blue Devil to qualify for state competition.
The Blue Angel quartet of Adkins, Watts, Andrea Edelmann and Abby Wiseman finished 15th overall in the 4x400m relay with a mark of 4:17.36. Senior Natalie Close also failed to post a distance in the discus event, leaving her tied for 15th overall in the final.
More details of the 2012 OHSAA Track and Field Championships will be available in the Tuesday sports edition of the Gallipolis Daily Tribune and The Daily Sentinel.
Complete results of the 2012 OHSAA Track and Field Championships are available on the web at ohsaa.org