Duo helps Eastmoor girls win state title
Sophomore Cheyanne Carter wasn't exactly sure how long it had been since the Eastmoor Academy girls track and field team last won a state championship, but she knew it had been awhile.
Entering the Division II state meet June 7 and 8 at Ohio State, the only previous titles won by the Warriors came in 2004 and 2005 when future Buckeye Ayrizanna Favours led the way.
The championship Eastmoor won last weekend was co-led by Carter and another future Ohio State competitor, senior Aaliyah Barnes.
The duo helped the Warriors score 58 points to place well ahead of runner-up Dayton Meadowdale (38) as 68 teams scored.
"We all wanted it so bad so we all worked for it super hard," Carter said. "When we all found out we won, we all just started crying."
Carter placed seventh in the long jump (16 feet, 10 1/4 inches) and followed that with a championship in the 100 hurdles (14.4 seconds) and a runner-up finish in the 200 (24.67).
Barnes also was spectacular, winning the 100 (11.9) and taking second in the 400 (55.7) and third in the 200 (24.7).
Carter and Barnes also were joined by junior Dajah Anderson and sophomore Gianni Ross on the first-place 800 relay (1:40.38).
The Warriors added a fifth-place finish by the 400 relay (49.34) of senior Sariah Rhodes, Anderson, sophomore Imani Stepney and Ross.
Also competing was sophomore Ayanna Marlowe in the shot put (14th, 36-7 1/4).
Barnes won the 100 and 200 at state as a sophomore and captured titles in the 100 and 400 while also running on the first-place 800 relay at state last year.
"I am so happy," Barnes said. "I did not expect to win anything. Today it was like, 'Go out and do your best.' I won the 100 and I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, I just won the 100.' Then I won the (800 relay). Then 'Oh my gosh, I just got second in the 400.' We had to get the team points. When we came in second and third in the 200, I wasn't too upset because we did the best we could. I'm just so happy."
Lions' Easley defends title
Columbus International junior Timia Easley didn't let a slow start in the girls long jump get her down during the Division III state meet.
After fouling on her first two attempts, Easley became the first jumper in the competition to clear 18-0 when she went 18-3/4 on her third attempt.
She later went 18-1 and won her second consecutive state championship.
"It's just like last year when I fouled my first two jumps," Easley said. "Any pit is a new pit for me because we don't have a pit at our school. Sometimes we come (to Ohio State) because the gates are unlocked for the public to use."
Easley, who also participates in cross country, volleyball and cheerleading at her school, added a seventh-place finish in the 100 (12.76).
She scored 11 points to help International tie Liberty Center for 21st behind champion Versailles (28) as 75 teams scored.
Also competing for the Lions were junior Marticia Abraham in the 400 (16th, 1:02.47), the 400 relay of Easley, Abraham and juniors Imby Abath and Brooklynn Dickerson (14th, 52.09) and the 800 relay of Abath, Abraham, Dickerson and sophomore Hannah Holley (15th, 1:52.01).
The Africentric girls team competed in the Division III state meet in four events but didn't score. Junior Kyrah Jones placed 13th in the 100 (12.79) and 14th in the 400 (1:01.53), junior Ayrielle Stith placed 11th in the discus (116-8) and sophomore Emoni Hudson was 13th in the 200 (26.52).
Warriors, 76ers excel in boys meets
The Eastmoor and Independence boys teams both had athletes reach the podium in Division II.
Senior Maliik Briggs placed fourth in the 400 (49.35) and the 800 relay of juniors Martine Perez, Cameron Jackson and Todd Roddy and sophomore Elijah Barber was fifth (1:29.94) to score nine points for the Warriors.
"We came from lane nine to get fifth (in the 800 relay), so that is a blessing," said Jackson, who tripped over the last hurdle in the 110 hurdles and settled for 14th (15.62).
"We've got everybody back except for Maliik, so we're excited about our prospects," coach Jason Lewis said.
Senior Shyhiem Pace was fourth in the 300 hurdles (39.18) and seventh in the 110 hurdles (14.83) as Independence scored six points.
Eastmoor placed 26th and Independence tied for 33rd behind champion Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (49) as 73 teams scored.
"I did pretty well, but I could have done better," Pace said. "I was sore from (the preliminary races) in my hamstrings."
Also in Division II, Centennial's Chisom Ifedi was sixth (6-5) in the high jump to give his team a tie for 49th (3).
No City athletes place in Division I
Three City League girls competed in the Division I state meet, but none reached the podium. Northland senior Jasmine Weatherspoon, who was fourth at state a year ago in the high jump, failed to clear a height in the high jump this year. Whetstone senior Arionna Darling was 13th in the shot put (38-2 1/4). Walnut Ridge freshman Jaylah Watkins placed 15th in the 400 (1:00.72).