After a disappointing outcome in his individual event, Westerville Central High School senior Michael Bisaha helped the Warhawks to a strong finish in the 400-meter relay in the Division I boys state track and field meet June 7 at Ohio State.
Bisaha, seniors David Hatchett and Eldin Anu and junior Joshua Beaumont finished fourth in 42.09 seconds.
Bisaha, who won the 110 hurdles (14.24) at regional May 30 at Pickerington North, did not advance to the finals at state in that event after finishing 15th (15.24) during the preliminaries June 6.
However, he played a key role in the relay's finish as the anchor.
"My goal since I was a freshman was just to be on this podium up here at the state meet," Bisaha said. "I finally made that. It wasn't the (110 hurdles) race I was hoping for, but to still be up there is incredible."
The Warhawks' relay was the top finisher from the Central District in the race, which Cleveland Glenville won in 41.47.
"We were shooting for top three and if everything went well, we thought we had a shot of winning it," coach Jason Loughman said. "We fell just a little shy of that, but the guys ran great and we'll take a fourth-place finish and getting all-Ohio."
Central tied for 28th (8 points) at state behind champion Glenville (40) as 71 teams scored.
Hatchett earned all-state honors in two individual events, finishing seventh in the 200 (21.93) and eighth in the 100 (10.92).
Sophomore Cedric Frierson was 12th in the long jump (21 feet, 4 3/4 inches) and senior Tommy Mansfield was 14th in the pole vault (13-6).
"Cedric and Tommy in the field events had OK days," Loughman said. "It wasn't their best day, but by far it wasn't their worst day. They understand it's an honor just to get to the state meet and compete at that level. Just getting to that highest level of competition, they were both happy, but would have both liked to finish a little higher."
Central's Hyatt takes 7th at state
Competing in her first state meet, Central sophomore Morghan Hyatt finished seventh in the 400 (56.91).
Pickerington Central's Tyler Williams won in 54.49.
"I'm happy because I was coming in (seeded) eighth and I landed a spot of one above from what I came in, so I'm proud," Hyatt said. "Hopefully, I can get a higher place on the podium (next season). It takes hard work during the summer and offseason."
Hyatt, who was the Central girls team's only state qualifier, scored two points as the Warhawks finished in a 10-way tie for 59th behind champion Solon (47), Pickerington Central (46) and Gahanna (29) as 77 teams scored.
South relay places seventh
South's 1,600 relay of senior Tara Thompson, junior Paichence Carter, sophomore Chasatea Brown and freshman Gabby Couch closed the girls meet by finishing seventh (3:55.6).
Carter, who ran the second leg, rallied her team into second place before the Wildcats slipped back.
"This is great," she said. "This is what we trained all year for. ... My dad (Kelly) has always told me you just have to go hard when it's time and it was time."
Pickerington Central used a strong closing kick from Williams to finish first (3:50.59).
The relay, which gave the Wildcats a tie for 59th at state, established a program record of 3:55.38 during the preliminaries.
"Those are four great girls," coach Jimmy Gaul said. "They deserved everything that came to them with their hard work from the very first day of the season to these last two weeks."
Relay, hurdler compete for North
The North boys team qualified its 3,200 relay and 300 hurdler Andrew Meacham for state, but did not score.
The relay of seniors Evan Larrick and Nick Horton and juniors Mark Petruzzi and Trevor Dilley did not finish the race.
"Our goal was to place in the (3,200). However, with the nerves of a runner (Petruzzi) getting to the state (meet) for the first time and a veteran (Dilley) feeling that he would make an injury (to his hamstring) worse if he continued to run, it was just not in the cards for us this year," coach Johnny Jackson said. "Two legs on the relay did all they could, but two good legs on a four-man relay is not good enough."
Meacham, a senior, finished 15th (40.3) during the preliminaries and did not advance to the final in the 300 hurdles.
"Andrew did his best that day," Jackson said. "You can't (get a personal record) all the time, so what I ask for is their best on that day and I think he gave me what I asked of him. He was a senior that made it to the state (meet) for the first time. If you have to end your career at a meet, the state meet is not a bad place to do it."