Long after the running events had ended at the Freedom Relays last Friday at Olentangy Liberty High School, a large crowd of athletes gathered around the pole vault pit to see if history could be made.

Long after the running events had ended at the Freedom Relays last Friday at Olentangy Liberty High School, a large crowd of athletes gathered around the pole vault pit to see if history could be made.

Liberty junior Chris Uhle didn't disappoint, as he cleared 16 feet, 6 inches to set the overall state record in the event.

Uhle seemed to relish the moment. Shortly before his final attempt, he raised his hands above his head and clapped his hands to encourage the crowd to cheer him on.

"Believe me, inside my head everything was running around," Uhle said. "People were coming up to me and saying, 'Make it,' and giving me high fives and hugs. My head was just swimming."

Uhle first cleared 16-3 to break the Division I state record of 16-1, set by Greenville's Kevin Leland last year in the Dayton regional meet. He then went after the overall state record of 16-4, set by Medina Buckeye's John Coyne at the Division II state meet in 1986.

Uhle teamed with his twin brother, Joey, and Michael Rhinehart to set a meet-record in the pole vault relay with a combined total of 43-6.

The performance was part of a record-setting night, as every Freedom Relays running event record in the boys meet was broken.

Big Walnut won the boys meet with 84 points, finishing ahead of Liberty (78), Hilliard Davidson (76), Westerville Central (64), Olentangy Orange (49), Olentangy (40), Hilliard Bradley (32) and Dublin Jerome (11).

Davidson won the girls title with 76 points, finishing ahead of Big Walnut (66), Central (64), Liberty (60), Olentangy (58), Orange (50), Jerome (31) and Bradley (26).

Chris Uhle's record could have a short shelf life, as his brother, Olentangy's Austin Hicks and Big Walnut's Bret Myers are among those who are chasing him.

Joey Uhle was denied a state record twice. At the Division I indoor state championships March 20 at the University of Akron, he cleared 16-5, which would've been an indoor state record, but a group of Patriots mobbed him in the pole vault pit and jarred the bar off its hinges. In order to be an official record, the height must be measured before and after the vault.

Joey Uhle also cleared 16-5 in a dual meet with Dublin Jerome on April 13, but the vault wasn't official because the OHSAA only recognizes a record if it occurs in a meet in which three or more teams are competing. The height was recognized as the program record, however.

After Chris Uhle broke that record, Joey Uhle chided his brother, saying, "One inch. You beat me by one inch."

"This is going to be an ongoing battle between us — (in high school), in college, past college," Chris Uhle said.

•Tyler Black, Kyle Pettay, Kadell Nevel and Doug Greening of the Liberty boys team set program and meet records in winning the 400-meter relay in 43.1 seconds and the sprint medley relay in 1:32.06.

Greening said the records came despite a couple of poor handoffs.

"It was just our training that got us the records," Greening said. "It's definitely an encouragement (to get a program record with a bad handoff). We know we have a lot further to go."

Melinda Hersey, Terese Gullo and Alex Clay combined to win the pole vault relay (28-0) to post the girls team's lone first-place finish.

•After the Olentangy boys team placed fifth in the sprint medley (1:35.56) and seventh in the 400 relay (46.2), junior Bryce Cheeks said the Braves are looking forward to seeing most of the same field again at the Olentangy Invitational on Friday.

The event features defending boys and girls champion Big Walnut as well as Liberty, Orange, Pickerington Central, Pickerington North and Watterson.

"Orange's Chase (Swisher) and (Big Walnut's Jordan) Whitner and I are going to have a showdown in the 100 and 200," Cheeks said. "We're all rivals, but it's all in fun, though."

At the Freedom Relays, Tyler Foy, William Greathouse and Brian Young won the shot put relay (128-11.5) and Claude Mbmemba, Brandon Owens and Adam Shetler were first in the discus relay (396-2)

For the Braves' girls team, Molly Gilbert, Megan Schweller, Victoria Langwasser and Brittney Simmons won the shuttle hurdles relay in a meet-record 1:06.2.

•Orange freshman Katelyn Daniels got a chance to show off her versatility at the Freedom Relays.

She threw 115-2 in the discus and combined with T.J. Williams and Megan Walker to win the event in a meet-record 309-10. She then went 15-5 in the long jump and ran a leg in the 400 relay before helping Williams and Walker win the shot put relay in a meet-record 113-8.

"I want to do every field event we have," Daniels said. "That was the hardest part was making sure I could compete in everything and not scratch."

Jason Hoskins, Zach Warner and Andy Bosley cleared a meet-record 17-6 in the high jump for the Orange boys team's lone first-place finish.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Liberty, Olentangy and Orange track and field teams:


*April 20 — Boys: Defeated Olentangy 103-34; Girls: Def. Olentangy 89-45

Last Friday — Boys: Finished second (78) at eight-team Freedom Relays, behind champion Big Walnut (84); Girls: Finished fourth (60) behind champion Hilliard Davidson (76)

*Last Tuesday — Competed against Westerville North

Friday — At Olentangy Invitational

*Tuesday — Home vs. Dublin Scioto

May 6 — At Delaware County meet


*April 20 — Boys: Lost to Liberty 103-34; Girls: Lost to Liberty 89-45

Last Friday — Boys: Finished sixth (40) at Freedom Relays; Girls: Finished fifth (58)

*Last Tuesday — Competed against Dublin Jerome

Friday — Home in Olentangy Invitational

*Tuesday — Home vs. Westerville Central

May 6 — At Delaware County Meet

*OCC-Cardinal meet


*April 20 — Boys: Lost to New Albany 94-47; Girls: Lost to New Albany 74-63

Last Friday — Boys: Finished fifth (49) at Freedom Relays; Girls: Finished sixth (50)

*Last Tuesday — Competed against Watkins Memorial

Friday — At Olentangy Invitational

*Tuesday — At Franklin Heights

*OCC-Capital meet