RUSHVILLE, Ohio — With the first day of the Region 11 track and field championships is in the books, the Eastern track and field team is leading the girls team competition and two Lady Eagles have qualified for the state meet.
With just three events scored on Wednesday at Fairfield Union High School, the Lady Eagles have a total of 13, leading a trio of second place teams by three. With four events scored on the boys side, Paint Valley has the lead with a total of 18, followed by Grandview Heights with 16 and Nelsonville-York with 13. The Region 11 championships will conclude on Friday at FUHS.
For the fourth straight season, EHS senior Laura Pullins will be headed to the OHSAA Division III state meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Pullins placed third, clearing 5 feet, 4 inches in the high jump, an event she also advanced to the state meet in her junior and freshman seasons. Pullins was fourth in the high jump at last year’s regional, with a mark one inch shorter than her feat on Wednesday.
For the third year in a row, Eastern senior Alia Hayes will be headed to the state, advancing in the shot put for the second consecutive spring. Hayes — who had the fifth farthest throw in the preliminary flights — marked her best throw of the day at 36 feet, 11 inches on her last throw of the finals. In last year’s regional, Hayes was second in the shot put, with a throw one inch better than her mark on Wednesday.
Pullins had advanced to regionals in the 400m dash, but scratched from the event and instead replaced sophomore Rhiannon Morris in the 4x800m relay.
In the 4x800m final, Eastern’s team of Pullins, Jessica Cook, Ally Durst and Taylor Parker turned in a seventh place time of 10:06.76, 18.23 seconds better than the mark posted in the district.
The same quartet turned in the 14th fastest time in the 4x400m semifinals at 4:27.14, falling 12.56 seconds short of the final qualifying spot.
The Lady Eagle 4x200m relay team of Pullins, Cook, Jaymie Basham and Cierra Smeeks fell 1.18 seconds shy of qualifying for Friday’s final, turning in a time of 1:54.45 for 13th place.
For the EHS boys team, senior Clayton Ritchie posted the 11th fastest time in the semifinals of both the 110m hurdles and the 300m hurdles. In the 110m hurdles, Ritchie’s time of 17.06 was .38 seconds away from making the final qualifying mark. Meanwhile, in the 300m hurdles, his time of 43.17 was .51 seconds away from the eighth place time.
On Friday, Eastern will have four more chances to qualify for the state meet with Hayes in the girls discus throw, Cook in the girls 800m run, Durst in the girls 1600m run, and Jett Facemyer in the boys 800m run.
Hayes and Facemyer will be gunning for their third straight state appearances in their respective events. Cook will be aiming for her second straight trip to the state meet in the 800m, while Durst will be going for her first state berth.
Complete results of the Region 11 championships can be found on the web at www.baumspage.com
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.