COLUMBUS, Ohio — Three athletes from the Ohio Valley Publishing area aimed to place in the 800m run at Saturday’s state track and field meet.
Unfortunately, all three came up short of placing in the top eight — as two were repeat runners of the state race, while Eastern sophomore Jess Cook was running half the distance from a year ago.
Cook for the Division III girls, Eastern junior Jett Facemyer for the Division III boys, and Gallia Academy junior Isaiah Lester in the Division II boys all competed in the challenging 800m final — as the two boys also ran the same event last season.
While the boys did improve their places by two spots apiece, and their times, they fell shy of all-Ohio honors inside Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
The top eight placers in each event at the state meet earn a spot on the awards podium —and automatic all-Ohio honors in the process.
Lester completed the two-lap run in a minute and 58 seconds (1:58.69), finishing 13th in Division II.
Facemyer finished in 1:59.10, which was 12th in Division III.
Cook, who qualified for the four-lap 1,600m run as a freshman, was 16th of 16 in Division III girls in 2:26.
Lester, last year, ran the 800m in two minutes and two seconds and finished 15th — while Facemyer finished 14th last season in 2:02.54.
Lester ran the same time (1:58) this season as his regional third-place time, while Facemyer finished fourth in the regional — and was the only of the 16 state qualifiers not entering at under two minutes.
For Facemyer, he would have needed to run a 1:57.59 to place, as Eastwood’s Logan Baugher was eighth.
Lester would have needed a minute and 56 seconds, for Fairview’s Paul Miles managed an eighth-place 1:56.04.
Cook, a member of Eastern’s state-qualifying 4x800m relay team as a freshman, needed to run better than two minutes and 17 seconds to place.
This was her first appearance at the state meet in the 800m run.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106