Sophomore Makiya Montgomery looked on the bright side when assessing her second state meet with the Beechcroft High School girls track and field team June 1 and 2 at Ohio State.
Although she didn't defend her Division II state championship in the 100 meters, she placed second in 11.93 seconds, which was faster than what she ran when she won the title as a freshman (11.98).
Later in the meet, she ended up with a second consecutive state runner-up finish in the 200, finishing in 24.42, but her time was faster than it was last season (24.89).
In both events, she lost to Beachwood senior Mia Knight, who ran Division II state-record times of 11.65 in the 100 and 23.96 in the 200.
"The (time I ran in the 200) is my (personal best)," Montgomery said. "(Knight) pushed me to get the time I got. I'm happy about my PR, and I'll be back here next year.
"My coaches say (the) 200 is my best event. I keep saying, 'No, it's not,' but I just got better in (the) 200 this year. This summer, I'm going to work on my blocks and my start and I'll be here again."
Montgomery also led the 400 relay to a fifth-place finish (49.53) as the Cougars scored 20 points to tie for sixth behind champion Beachwood (38) as 75 teams scored.
A year ago, she also placed fourth in the 400 and scored 23 points as the program's lone state representative.
Montgomery was joined on the 400 relay by senior Jaymie Roberts, sophomore Zha'Mia Vick and freshman Larissa Bronte-Agbor. They had the sixth-fastest preliminary time (49.75) after finishing just fourth (49.7) at the regional meet that concluded May 26 at Lexington.
"I'm happy because in all of my years, I've never gotten to be (at state)," Roberts said.
Also at regional, Montgomery ran on the 1,600 relay that finished 10th (4:16.91).
The 800 relay of Bronte-Agbor, Vick, Montgomery and freshman Amara Allen had hopes of a strong postseason after having the second-best time in the preliminary race in the district 1 meet that concluded May 19 at Westerville North, but it was disqualified in the final at district.
"We ended up getting DQ'd in the (800 relay), so we just made sure we had everything good in the (400 relay) so we could make it this far," Vick said. "You just have to push yourself and try your best."
The only other girls from the City League to compete at state were Centennial senior Ruby Greenwood, who placed fourth in the 400 (56.92) in Division I, and Eastmoor Academy senior Jennaia Williams, who was 13th in the 200 (25.74) in Division I.
Nubians' Bowman lands on podium
Africentric Early College junior Anthony Bowman earned a state runner-up finish in the high jump in the Division III boys state meet June 1 by clearing a program-record 6 feet, 8 inches.
Crooksville's Teck Kirkpatrick cleared 6-9 to win the title.
Bowman's performance scored eight points for the Nubians, who tied for 25th behind champion East Canton (64) as 72 teams scored.
A first-year track competitor, he cleared 6-8 on his second attempt at state.
"I kept slipping when I tried to (attempt 6-9), but on the inside, I believe I could have had it," Bowman said. "It feels great because I was a state runner-up in basketball and now I am in track."
Also representing the Nubians at state was junior Anthony Tyler, who finished 14th in the 300 hurdles (40.95).
East relay earns spot on state podium
Seeded ninth in the final June 2, the East boys 400 relay of senior Zaevious Toran, junior Dylyn Powell and sophomores Kevin Brunston-Castleman and Samuel Pierre ended up placing eighth (44.1) in the Division II state meet.
The Tigers scored one point to tie for 66th behind champion Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (51) as 71 teams scored.
Brunston-Castleman replaced sophomore Jauron Armstrong in the final after Armstrong suffered an injury. A season ago, Brunston-Castleman finished 13th in the 400 (53.24) in the Division III regional while competing for Patriot Prep.
"It's amazing," Toran said. "I've been trying to get here since I was a freshman."
Also at state, the 800 relay of Brunston-Castleman, Pierre, Powell and Toran finished 16th (1:31.46).
"We've been putting in the work the whole season," Armstrong said. "It's my first year running track, so this is crazy."
Eastmoor boys relay closes year at state
After earning a third-place finish in the Division I regional meet that concluded May 25 at Pickerington North, the Eastmoor boys 3,200 relay finished 17th (8:04.35) at state on June 1.
The relay was comprised of seniors Chris Chandler, Omavi Hamilton and Sean Hathorn and junior Bushra Bonkiye.
Chandler and Hamilton both ran on the 3,200 relay that finished seventh in the Division II regional last season.