LEXINGTON — There are different levels of fast in track and field, as Makiya Montgomery of the Beechcroft High School girls team and Taylor Hopkins of Heath proved May 27 in a Division II regional.
Just a freshman, Montgomery won the 100 meters (12.08 seconds) and 200 (24.57) and finished second in the 400 (56.68). This was only the latest chapter of her impressive season, during which she also dominated City League and district competition.
“I’m thankful for everything I’ve achieved, but I don’t let it get to my head,” Montgomery said. “My mindset is just to go about my business and go from one race to the next and try to do my best. I don’t really think about anything else.”
Montgomery said her narrow loss to Regan Clay of Rossford in the 400 that spoiled an otherwise perfect afternoon served as motivation to run the 200 — contested 30 minutes later — with a vengeance.
“I had to redeem myself,” she said.
Hopkins, meanwhile, flashed his finishing speed in the middle distances. He patiently came from behind to win the 800 (1:53.85) and the 1,600 (4:15.15). His performance allowed Heath to finish fourth in the team standings with 40 points.
“My kick is what wins me races,” said Hopkins, who plans to sign with Akron. “I try to tell myself to run smart and just put myself in position at the end because I don’t think any of my competitors have the foot speed I do.
Host Lexington won the boys title with 44 points and Orrville the girls title with 55 points.
Although she lowered her own regional record in the 800, Aziza Ayoub of Jonathan Alder seemed disgusted while receiving her gold medal. Her time was 2:10.62, a tad slower than her personal record and state-leading time of 2:09.25.
“I came here to PR and I’m kind of upset I didn’t get that done,” said Ayoub, the defending state champion and an Ohio State signee. “I’m frustrated because I know I can do better. I don’t feel like this was too hard, but it’s difficult when nobody’s pushing you. I’m still looking to run 2:05 next week. That will drive me in practice all week.”
Molly Fagin of Bexley used the steady approach to win the 3,200 (11:13.73).
“I pretty much follow the same plan I use every race,” Fagin said. “I just stayed with the lead pack and tried to break away with 800 to 1,000 meters left. I got second here last year, and it feels nice to move to the top step.”
Other area winners were Blake Morman of Liberty Union in the pole vault (14 feet, 2 inches) and the River Valley girls 1,600 relay (3:59.07).
Abby Davis of North Union was second behind Montgomery in both dashes. Jordan Jackson of Worthington Christian was second in the 400 (48.48) and anchored the 3,200 relay to second (7:54.13).
In a Division II regional at Athens, the only area winner was the boys 1,600 relay of Fairfield Union (3:24.14).