After its 800-meter relay failed to finish last Saturday in the Division I district 1 meet at Dublin Coffman, the Beechcroft High School boys track and field team looked to the 400 relay as an opportunity to earn retribution.

After its 800-meter relay failed to finish last Saturday in the Division I district 1 meet at Dublin Coffman, the Beechcroft High School boys track and field team looked to the 400 relay as an opportunity to earn retribution.

Joe Simpson, Austin Carter, Bilal Manns and Ben Ray got it, or so it seemed.

Shortly after the members of the relay began celebrating a third-place finish, a call came over the loudspeaker asking for the Beechcroft coach to go to the finish line.

The Cougars had been disqualified for going out of the exchange zone.

"We came off the blocks good and our exchange was a good exchange," Ray said. "We were expecting (to qualify for regional in the 400 relay) but we were kind of shaken up after the (800 relay). You can't blame anyone because we win or lose as a team."

Ray, a sophomore who finished fourth in the 100 (11.13) in the second boys race of the day before running on the 800 relay that also included Carter, Timothy Hill and Manns shortly afterward, had one more chance to turn his day into a positive and he seized it.

After recording the fourth-fastest preliminary time in the 200 on May 20, Ray ran 22.36 in the final to edge Zanesville's Jordan Minnick (22.39) for the fourth and last qualifying spot.

Ray competed in the regional preliminaries last Wednesday in the 100 and 200 at Hilliard Davidson. The finals are Friday. The top four in each event will advance to state June 6-7 at Ohio State.

Beechcroft scored 14 points to place 15th of 17 teams behind champion Gahanna (142.5).

Last year, Ray was a regional qualifier in the 200 but finished sixth at district in the 100.

"My best race is my 200 because I can open my stride up a little," Ray said. "In the 100, it's just like that and you're done. If you have a bad start in the 100, it's basically over. I had a good start (in the 100 last Saturday) although I didn't have as good of a finish as I could have."

Sophomore Alycia Davis represented the girls team in the regional last Wednesday in preliminaries of the 100 hurdles after finishing second (15.88) in the Division I district 3 meet last Saturday at Coffman behind Pickerington North's Samie Corbin (15.13).

Davis, who did not clear the opening height in the high jump at district May 21, scored eight of Beechcroft's 13 points as it placed 11th of 14 teams behind champion Reynoldsburg (135).

Last year, Davis was first in the 100 hurdles (16.12) and ran on the 400 relay that was first (51.9) in Division II district 2.

"She felt she could have done better. She didn't get out of the blocks as well as she wanted," coach Jeff Caffee said. "On the other hand, she went from Division II last year to Division I. She did very well and she has two more years to go.

"I'm excited for her making it to the regional as a freshman and being able to go back again this year."

Also scoring for the girls were Kalantra Franklin in the 100 (sixth, 12.76), Naomie Jeantine in the 100 (eighth, 13.02) and Ashley Butler, Franklin, Jeantine and Janae Lawson in the 800 relay (eighth, 1:50.44).

"I thought they ran well, but unfortunately the (400 relay) didn't make it to the final because we had a baton mishap," Caffee said. "I thought we represented ourselves and our school well with the move up from Division II to Division I."