Some of central Ohio’s top high school track and field programs could have plenty to look forward to in the coming years if the results from the second OHSAA seventh- and eighth-grade state meet are an accurate indicator.
On May 12 at Lancaster, Worthingway Middle School from Worthington scored 46 points to easily top a 74-team boys field while Pickerington Ridgeview scored 30 points to share the title with Whitehouse Anthony Wayne in the 71-team girls meet.
At last year’s Division I high school state meet, the Thomas Worthington boys won the championship and the Pickerington Central girls were fourth.
Eighth-graders Camden Beatty and Justin Braun led the Worthingway boys, with Braun winning the 200 meters (22.79 seconds) and 400 (49.94), Beatty finishing second in the 110 hurdles (15.33) and 200 hurdles (25.59) and both running on the first-place 1,600 relay (3:34.09) with eighth-graders Xavier Jennings and Shohaan Singh.
Also in the boys meet, Westerville Heritage finished fifth (18), Canal Winchester tied for 14th (12) and Columbus Ridgeview tied for 16th (11).
Eighth-grader Kaden Saunders won the 100 (10.99) and joined eighth-graders Michael Donkor, James McCreery and Fredrick Yeboah on the runner-up 800 relay (1:36.78) to lead Heritage.
For Canal Winchester, eighth-grader Dylan Randall was fourth in the 400 (52.95) and the 800 relay of eighth-graders Elike Heh, Stephan Byrd and Kenny Tuffour and seventh-grader Isaiah Coleman was fifth (1:38.34).
Eighth-grader Daishaun Gossett led Columbus Ridgeview, placing third in the 400 (52.7) and fourth in the 110 hurdles (15.83).
Also earning a runner-up finish was Columbus Sherwood eighth-grader Ronald Fleming in the 400 (52.7).
Also placing third were Gahanna East eighth-grader Kamran Wilson-Singleton in the discus (146 feet, 4 inches), Columbus South Side eighth-grader Tony Kocanjer in the high jump (5-10) and Pickerington Ridgeview eighth-grader Jailen Willis in the 1,600 (4:41.16), while the Upper Arlington Hastings 1,600 relay of eighth-graders Sam Cannon, Grant Overmyer, John Mollmann and Kaiwen Wu was fourth (3:46.34).
Eighth-grader Ramiya Roy led the Pickerington Ridgeview girls with titles in the 100 (12.13) and 200 (24.86) and also ran on the winning 400 relay (51.12) with eighth-graders Chloe Jackson, Chloe Santos and Deborah Smith.
Also in the girls meet, Gahanna West placed fourth (22), Olentangy Orange and Gahanna South tied for fifth (20), Hilliard Weaver tied for 12th (13), Watkins Memorial was 14th (12.5), Worthingway was 18th (11) and Dublin Grizzell and Heritage were among seven schools that tied for 19th (10).
Seventh-grader YaYa Stafford of Gahanna West placed second in the 100 (12.46) and 200 (25.88) and was third in the long jump (16-4 1/4).
For Gahanna South, eighth-grader Bella Ward placed fourth in the 200 (25.99) and sixth in the 100 (12.71), eighth-grader Camryn Nelson finished third in the 100 hurdles (15.9) and seventh-grader Nia Alexander was third in the 400 (1:00).
Also capturing titles were Heritage eighth-grader Brooke Holloway in the pole vault (10-0), Worthingway eighth-grader Cora Hamilton in the 200 hurdles (29.29), the Grizzell 1,600 relay (4:12.34) of eighth-graders Audrey Cook, Raegan Ernst, Maya Fuller and Meryl LaRue and the Orange 800 relay (1:49.4) of eighth-graders Nour Khayat and Spiritual Wright and seventh-graders Josephine Davis and Cassidy Shimp.
Also for Orange, eighth-grader Ava Musgrove placed fifth in the 100 (12.64) and the 1,600 relay of eighth-graders Alex Knodel, Khayat and Wright and seventh-grader Teresa Christian was sixth (4:18.53).
Weaver was led by eighth-grader Caroline Schneidmiller, who was fourth in the 100 (12.64) and ran on the third-place 800 relay (1:50.06) with eighth-graders Olivia Bradley, Talaya Sanford and Samantha West.
New Albany seventh-grader E’Moni Saxton placed third in 800 (2:23.32).
Hamilton Township eighth-grader Halaya Woodson was fifth in the shot put (38-9 1/4), the Columbus Ridgeview 400 relay of eighth-graders Jenna Kimbrough and Paige Williams and seventh-graders Nevaeh Lacey and Kayla Smalls placed fifth (52.4) and Columbus Berwick eighth-grader Treyvhon Saunders finished sixth in the 110 hurdles (16.03).