COLUMBUS, Ohio — It’s a start.
The OHSAA state track and field championships began on Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, with an Eagle, a Lady Eagle and a Rebel all in action.
For South Gallia — represented for the first time in school history at the state meet — junior Kyle Northup placed finished in a tie for 12th in the Division III boys high jump. Northup cleared the bar at 5 feet, 10 inches, and 6-feet-even, on a jump apiece, but was one of six athletes to be bounced from competition at 6 feet, 2 inches.
After competing, Northup discussed being the first Rebel to participate at the state meet, as well as his goal to return to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium next season.
“It’s really big privilege, and I’m just happy that God gave me the will to do it,” Northup said. “I’m going to try my best to get back here, and if God wants it, I’ll be here. The experience has been great, all the support from family, friends and school.”
Africentric’s Anthony Bowman was Division III boys high jump champion, clearing 6 feet, 10 inches.
The Eastern girls were represented a the state meet for the 10th consecutive year, this time by junior exchange student Caterina Miecchi in the Division III girls shot put. After weather delayed the event’s start for around three hours, Miecchi posted a mark of 34 feet, 3.25 inches and placed 10th. Miecchi’s mark came on her final throw and was .75 inches behind the ninth-place mark going into finals.
Covington’s Lauren Christian won the Division III girls shot put with a mark of 44 feet, 7.25 inches.
In preliminary action on Friday morning, Eastern senior Noah Browning qualified for Saturday’s final in one of his two events. Browning came up with a time of 49.66 in the 400m dash, the second-fastest time in his heat and overall by .32 seconds. Browning was .99 seconds away from qualifying for the 200m dash final and placed 18th overall with a time of 23.68.
Browning — who was 16th in the 400m dash at the state meet a year ago — will be in Lane 6 for the 400m dash final at 10:35 a.m. on Saturday. The EHS senior will need to beat one of the nine runners in order to give the Eastern boys’ team its first points at the state meet since 2012, as well as its podium finish in a running event since 2011.
Along with the Eagles’ opportunity to score on Saturday, the Lady Marauders and Lady Raiders will also be looking for podium finishes on Day 2 of the Division II meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Meigs senior Kassidy Betzing competes in her fourth consecutive Division II long jump event at 9:30 a.m.
River Valley freshman Lauren Twyman will make her state debut in the Division II 800m final at 2:30 p.m.
Visit ohsaa.org for complete results from the opening day of the 2019 OHSAA Track and Field Championships being held at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
A complete recap of Saturday’s results will be available in the Tuesday sports editions of the Gallipolis Daily Tribune, Point Pleasant Register and The Daily Sentinel.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.