Some of the most dramatic moments of the state track and field meet involved Dublin Coffman High School senior Abby Steiner and whether she’d continue to set records in the 100 and 200 meters.
The answer was a definitive yes, first during the preliminary races June 1 when she ran 11.47 seconds in the 100 and 23.17 in the 200.
Then on June 2, she topped both of those marks, running 11.38 to win her third consecutive title in the 100 and 22.73 to capture her fourth title in a row in the 200.
Her time in the 200 is the seventh-fastest all-time nationally.
“I got an explosive start in both races and that made it all possible,” said Steiner, who will compete in track and soccer at the University of Kentucky. “This was my last day of high school track and it couldn’t have gone any better.”
Her 20 points, combined with a runner-up finish by Isabelle Angerman in the 300 hurdles (42.93), helped the Coffman girls team finish fourth (28) in Division I.
Gahanna leads area girls teams
A four-year run of excellence by the Gahanna girls team continued with its second state championship, scoring 51 points to easily top the field.
After earning a share of the state title in 2015 and being the state runner-up each of the past two seasons, the Lions got titles from Madison Martinez in the 800 (2:08.89), their 1,600 relay (3:47.99) and their 3,200 relay (8:53.49) and also had runner-up finishes from Claire Steigerwald in the 3,200 (10:29.85) and Faith Hunter in the high jump (5 feet, 9 inches).
The time run by the 3,200 relay of Shynae Deas, Allison Groves, Martinez and Steigerwald on June 1 set the state record and is the fastest recorded in the nation this spring.
Lancaster had just one representative in Hope Purcell, but she scored 31 points over four events to give her team a tie for second with Twinsburg. Coffman (fourth, 28), Thomas Worthington (fifth, 23) and Pickerington Central (10th, 19) also finished in the top 10.
Tigers capture another title
Pickerington Central’s boys rode three event wins and 10 top-eight finishes to the Division I team championship, amassing 58 points to finish ahead of runner-up Centerville (36.5) and cap a historic school year.
Central is the first school to win football, girls basketball and track and field titles in the same school year and the 27th in state history to win three championships in a year. Four public schools previously accomplished the feat — Coldwater (2014-15), Kent Roosevelt (1981-82), Thomas Worthington (1988-89) and Upper Arlington (1985-86).
Central’s boys basketball team also reached a state semifinal.
State champions for the Tigers were Evan Matthews in the 300 hurdles (37.13), Matt Scrape in the 3,200 (9:02.01) and the 1,600 relay (3:17.7) of Matthews, Zach Robinson, Crockett Schooler and Terry Simuel.
Other records fall at state meet
There were five state-record runs in Division II and two state records set in Division III on June 2.
Perry’s Leah King broke the state meet and overall Division II record in the 100 hurdles when she finished in 13.89, and she also ran a Division II state-meet record 42.55 in the 300 hurdles.
Beachwood’s Mia Knight ran a state meet and overall Division II record of 11.65 in the 100 and broke the same records while winning the 200 in 23.96.
Also, Thornville Sheridan senior Anna Foster ran a Division II state-meet record 10:34.34 in the 3,200.
In Division III, Mansfield St. Peter’s Alysse Wade ran a state meet and overall division record of 14.07 in the girls 100 hurdles and North Robinson Colonel Crawford’s Chad Johnson set the state meet and overall division mark in the boys 3,200 in 9:05.43.
New Albany’s Fenster dominates seated races
New Albany senior Michael Fenster finished his prep career with a flourish, sweeping the three seated races for the second consecutive year to raise his championship total to seven.
Fenster won the 100 in 17.68, the 400 in 1:02.68 and the 800 in 2:08.84. He finished 14.22 seconds ahead of runner-up Gabe Warsing of Andover Pymatuning Valley in the 800, 4.32 seconds ahead of Wooster’s Evan Heller in the 400 and defeated Heller in the 100 by .57 of a second.
“My times definitely surprised me. I never thought I would hit anywhere near these times,” said Fenster, who is heading to the University of Illinois to compete on the school’s wheelchair track team and major in sports facility management. “This never gets old. I thought it would, doing the same thing all the time, going in circles, but it doesn’t get old. I thought I’d hate track, but I love it. I’m glad I did it.”
Indians’ Martino sees bright future
Canal Winchester freshman Korbin Martino finished 12th in the 400 (49.67) to cap a season in which he was the third-fastest freshman in the country in the event, according to MileSplit.com.
He was the only freshman racing last week in the 400 and just the sixth Division I freshman 400 runner since 2002 to make state.
“I just told myself, ‘Whatever happens, happens.’ I was running against kids that are running for (colleges) or trying to get scholarships,” said Martino, who also ran 48.46 at regional to finish third. “I had to come out here and have some fun. I love the sport and I definitely plan to be back next year, and faster.”
This was the second consecutive year Canal Winchester has had one representative at state.
Last year, Lonzell Feagin won the 100 and 400, was second in the 200 and eighth in the long jump to score all 29 of his team’s points and place the Indians fifth.
Rivals to become roommates in college
Olentangy Orange’s Jayden Rodgers and Hilliard Bradley’s Daevon Anderson have been rivals in the 110 hurdles. Soon, they’ll become college teammates — and roommates.
Rodgers won the 110 hurdles (13.83) in Division I while Anderson was third (14.23). Both will attend Grand Valley State in Allendale, Michigan, to play football and compete in track.
Anderson also was runner-up in the 300 hurdles (37.17) to become Bradley’s highest state placer.
Like father, like son for Grandview vaulter
Grandview senior Ben Murphy and his father, Tim Murphy, both competed at state in the pole vault.
Ben cleared the initial height of 11-6 but failed in his three tries at 12-0 in the Division III meet.
Tim, who is a Grandview assistant, competed when he was a senior in 1983 at Bradford (Pennsylvania) in Class AAA, the state’s big-school division.
Tim cleared 12-0 for a personal best at district, which was the state-qualifying meet in Pennsylvania at that time. Ben cleared the same height, also a personal best, while finishing fourth at regional to advance to state.
Warriors’ Perkins follows mom’s lead
Westerville North senior Phylan Perkins finished ninth in the Division I girls shot put with a throw of 39-3 1/4.
Her mother, Graciela Howell, a 1984 Columbus East graduate, finished second in the shot put (41-5 1/2) and third in the discus (129-0) as a senior in Class AA.
“They called me ‘Amazing Grace’ back then,” Howell said. “I’m so proud of Phylan and how well she has done up here. It was amazing to watch her throw.”
Academy’s Hammond coaches while injured
Columbus Academy coach Denny Hammond was on the sidelines at state even though he was struck by a car while walking in a supermarket parking lot leading up to the meet.
Hammond suffered ligament and tissue damage in his right foot and ankle. He was wearing a walking boot and using crutches during the meet.
Vikings thrower has family ties to Bills
Columbus Academy senior Khloe Dubenion, who finished eighth in the discus (121-5) in Division III, comes from an athletic family.
Her great uncle, Elbert Dubenion, was a wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills from 1960-68. He ranks seventh all-time in the AFL in receptions and receiving yards.
Nicknamed “Golden Wheels,” he played college football for Bluffton after playing in high school at Columbus South.
Couple train top hurdlers
As the Division III girls 100 hurdles final was being held, a pair of interested coaches watched from the infield.
Jim Smith and Lori Baldwin, who are married, offer free hurdles and jumping clinics throughout the year. Five of the top nine finishers in the event, including the top two, two-time champion Alysse Wade of Mansfield St. Peter’s and two-time runner-up Calista Manns of Grove City Christian, train with Smith and Baldwin.
Wade won in 14.07 and Manns was second in 14.13.
Smith is the boys track coach at Hilliard Davidson.