Dublin Coffman High School junior Abby Steiner added a series of memorable events to her already brilliant prep career during the Division I state girls track and field meet June 2 and 3 at Ohio State.
Steiner, who won three gold medals last season and entered as the two-time defending champion in the 200 meters, opened competition by running 11.59 seconds during the semifinal of the 100 on June 2 to tie the state record set by Brookhaven’s Khalilah Carpenter in 2000.
During the final of the event June 3, Pickerington Central’s McKenzie Long, who had the second-best preliminary time, false-started. Then on the restart, Strongsville’s Madeline Kreller false-started.
Steiner went on to win the event in 11.61 and followed by leading the Shamrocks to a dramatic comeback in the 800 relay, taking the baton several meters behind Cincinnati Withrow’s anchor but passing her during the final stretch as Coffman won in 1:38.34. Steiner’s unofficial split for her 200 in the race was 23.0.
Steiner ended up with the official state record in the 200 later in the day when she won the open event in 23.56.
Her comeback in the 800 relay was reminiscent of a year ago when she rallied the Shamrocks in the event after taking the baton as the anchor.
“Indescribable,” Steiner said. “It’s been a really amazing state meet.”
Feagin lifts Indians
to third place
Canal Winchester senior Lonzell Feagin capped a landmark week by scoring all 29 of his team’s points, including championships in the 100 and 400, to put the Indians boys in third place in Division I behind champion Thomas Worthington (36).
Feagin won the 100 (10.68) and 400 (47.31), and was second in the 200 (21.56) and eighth in the high jump (22 feet, 9 inches).
He signed with the University of Pittsburgh on May 30, four days after sweeping the 100, 400 and long jump titles at regional.
“I saw where I was at in the meet. I had already knocked off the 100 and 400 and decided I wanted to finish the string,” Feagin said after the 200. “I wanted to get as many points as I could for the team.
“I came in wanting to win the 100 and 400 and finish it out in the 200, but I got second. I was eighth in the long jump, but that was just something to score points in. I was focused on the other three.”
birthday in style
New Albany senior Max Frye might never again think of his birthday as just a reminder of getting older.
On his 18th birthday June 3, Frye won Division I state titles in the 110 hurdles (13.94) and 300 hurdles (37.37). Both were school records.
“It’s all I’ve been working for the entire season, so it was great to get the job done,” said Frye, a Dartmouth commit. “In the 110s, I knew I had to come out as fast as I could so I really needed to focus on having a good start and being able to go quickly over the hurdles, which I ended up doing pretty well. In those 300s, you have to run every single meter like it’s your last meter so it’s a tough race. I really focused on getting my strong lead leg over the hurdle, which I ended up doing and it worked out well for that, too.”
Moore wins first boys
state title for Orange
Olentangy Orange senior Hunter Moore won the 3,200 in Division I on June 3 in a program-record 8:58.47, becoming the first boys athlete from the school to win a state championship.
“My school has never had a boys state champ and I wanted to get that done,” Moore said. “It was a four-year work in progress. It’s the best and it’s the worst, too, because it’s my last race.”
Moore held off Pickerington Central’s Matt Scrape (9:00.87) after he was second (9:02.51) behind Scrape (9:02.07) a week earlier at regional.
“I let (Scrape) out-kick me last week and I wasn’t going to let him do that this time,” Moore said. “I knew he would be there again.”
Area Division I
boys teams dominate
The top five boys teams in the Division I meet reside in central Ohio. Thomas won its first state title since 1999 by scoring 36 points, while Gahanna (31), Canal Winchester (29), Orange (25) and Reynoldsburg (24) rounded out the top five.
New Albany scored 20 points to tie Cleveland St. Ignatius for ninth and Pickerington Central (17) was 11th as 80 teams scored.
Gahanna boys get
redemption in relay
The title the Gahanna boys team’s 1,600 relay earned in 3:14.9 helped ease the pain from a disappointment earlier in the meet.
During the 800 relay, LaCarr Trent, Joseph Gathuru, Jayvonta Tolliver and Jerome Buckner were in contention for the title but had a bad handoff. Buckner rallied the Lions to what appeared to be a runner-up finish, but the relay ultimately was disqualified for going out of the exchange zone.
The 1,600 relay was comprised of Buckner, Gathuru, Tolliver and Dontae Deas, and their performance helped the Lions earn a state team runner-up finish.
again leave mark
For the third consecutive state meet, the Gahanna girls scored at least 50 points and left with a team trophy.
The Lions tied Withrow for the 2015 team title when both scored 50 points, then had 53 points but settled for a runner-up finish behind Withrow (64) a year ago.
A similar finish to last year occurred, although the gap was closer, as Gahanna scored 51 points to again get the runner-up trophy behind Withrow (58).
Of Withrow’s eight state competitors, five were seniors.
Gahanna, on the other hand, had nine athletes at state and the only seniors were hurdler Benja Duff and sprint relay-specialist Ivy McKee.
Hurdler ends state
drought for Northridge
Olivia Carpenter reached the podium twice for the Northridge girls, becoming the team’s first runner to place at state since competition began in 1975. The junior also was the first athlete from the program to place at state in 36 years.
Carpenter was third in the 300 hurdles (program-record 44.92) and sixth in the 100 hurdles (15.3) in Division III.
She was ninth in the 100 hurdles (15.53) last season, missing the awards podium by one place.
“I was just so happy to be on the podium,” Carpenter said. “When I got sixth (in the 100 hurdles) I wanted to get better than that in the 300 (hurdles).”
The last Northridge girls athlete to place at state was Chris Yoakum, who won the discus (134-0) in Class AA in 1981.
Watson fails to repeat
as pole vault champ
Orange senior Anna Watson was the defending Division I state champion in the girls pole vault and holds the state record in the event, but she finished second this season.
Watson lost after four jump-offs with Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit’s Allie Stern, after they had tied at 13-1.
Both competitors missed their four attempts at 13-4 to force the jump-off.
Initially, the bar was dropped to 13-1, and both cleared the height. Both then missed at 13-4, forcing a return to 13-1. After both missed their attempt at that height, the bar was lowered to 12-10. Watson missed her try and Stern went over for the win.
Watson, an Indiana signee, set the state record of 13-6 1/4 on May 16 in the district 2 meet at Hilliard Darby.
Medrano makes podium
for Village Academy
Tessa Medrano of the Village Academy girls team had just received her fifth-place medal for the 800 in Division III when she was approached about running in an all-star meet this weekend.
Life at state was different this year for Medrano, a senior who earned a spot on the podium by running 2:16.04 on June 3, one year after finishing 14th in the same race in her first state appearance.
“I saw that I was (seeded) ninth coming in and I aimed for fifth,” said Medrano, the only girl in school history to make state. “I held fifth place the whole time. I don’t know how. I guess it was the adrenaline.
“My first lap was normal for me and I guess I sped up a few seconds on the second (lap).”
Medrano is headed to Harvard, and she hopes her state performance helps her make the track team. She needs a 2:13 in the 800 to be considered for the team, and if she falls short of that, she plans to join the Crimson’s club team.
“Somehow, I will be running again,” Medrano said.
400 relay final
Westerville South entered the boys 400 relay final June 3 with the second-fastest time (41.91) but competed without junior anchor Jaelen Gill.
Gill, who has committed to play football at Ohio State, missed the race because he was attending the Under Armour All-America Camp in Baltimore.
Sophomores Bankole Abimbola and Elton Sunnyway and freshmen Ibukunoluwa Alfred and Michael Mansaray finished ninth in 43.19. Mansaray took the place of Gill, who competed in the preliminary June 2.
As Hilliard Davidson’s Corey Chiou prepared to receive his medal after placing seventh in the seated 400 on June 3, he asked a bystander to hold his cooling towel, which was given to each competitor on the hot afternoon.
That bystander was OHSAA commissioner Dan Ross, who gladly held the towel while photos were taken.
Ross said he still gets emotional watching the seated athletes in what was their fifth year of competition at the state level.
fails to win 4th title
In the boys 100 in Division II, there’s been no one better than Streetsboro senior Dakari Carter in recent years.
Looking for his fourth consecutive state championship in the event and with the best regional time in the state, Carter pulled up injured during the preliminary and ended up 15th (15.54).
That opened up an opportunity for Wayne Lawrence Jr., but the senior from Dayton Meadowdale, who had the second-best regional time, ended up settling for second (10.79).
Warrensville Heights senior Demetri Keaton won in a Division II state-meet record 10.57.
Lawrence won the 400 (46.67) and the 200 (21.29), with his time in the latter event being a record for Division II as well as for the Division II state meet.