Senior James Duncan of the Beechcroft High School boys track and field team saved his best for last.

Senior James Duncan of the Beechcroft High School boys track and field team saved his best for last.

In the Division I regional meet May 23 at Pickerington North, he jumped 22 feet, 5 3/4 inches in his final attempt in the long jump to capture the regional championship and advance to the state meet Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, at Ohio State.

Duncan jumped from behind the wooden board instead of jumping off it on his first five attempts, but he decided to jump off it on his final attempt.

"He won the City (League title on May 9) at (21 feet, 9 inches) and he never touched the board then, either," coach Bruce Ward said. "We decided to change his approach going into district. We just moved him back a little and gave him a couple extra steps."

Duncan was second heading into the finals after going 21-9 3/4 on his second attempt during the preliminary round. He then moved into third place temporarily before landing the regional-best jump.

Also advancing to state were Columbus West's Derayle Tyus (22-2 1/2), Canal Winchester's Antonio Whitfield (22-1 3/4) and Groveport's Karlos Pinkston (21-11 1/4), as the top four finishers in each regional event qualified for state.

The regional meet concluded May 25 at North.

Last season, Duncan ran on the 400-meter relay that placed second (42.22 seconds) at state.

"It feels great," he said. "Before (the regional), my best was a 21-9. I just wanted to win and make it to state.

"We try to practice when we can. (May 22) I called off practice because my hip was sore. I actually fractured it in my eighth-grade year doing the long jump."

The Beechcroft girls team's 800 relay competed in the Division II regional meet May 24 and May 26 at Welcome Stadium in Dayton.

In the district 2 meet that concluded May 19 at Westerville South, junior Hailee Cannady, sophomores Ramyus Conteh and Tivia Hylton and freshman Ahmel Roberson placed third in the 800 relay (1:49.74) to qualify for regional.

The top four finishers in each district event qualified for regional.

Weatherspoon qualifies for state for Northland

The Northland girls track team will be represented in the Division I state meet for the fourth consecutive season after junior Jasmine Weatherspoon placed fourth in the high jump (5-2) in the regional meet May 23.

The Vikings' last state placer was Andrea Madison, who finished sixth in the discus in 2010.

"We've been getting the job done the last few years," coach Tom Fast said. "Jasmine has been real consistent this year and, at state, hopefully we can get her back up to the 5-4 and 5-5 jumps that she had earlier this year. When she got the 5-2 (at regional), she was way over the bar, and now that AAU basketball is over, hopefully her legs will be fresh."

Weatherspoon cleared 5-2 to tie for second in the district 1 meet that concluded May 19 at Hilliard Darby.

Then at regional, she cleared 5-2 on her final attempt for the height to earn a state berth.

She unsuccessfully attempted 5-4 three times and settled for fourth behind Canal Winchester's Taylor Smith, Olentangy's Emily Ginter and Pickerington North's Rashelle Myers. All three also cleared 5-2.

"It feels good," Weatherspoon said. "I felt good. My legs weren't sore and I was very explosive with my jumps. I'm just going to keep practicing at the higher heights, and I just have to make sure I bend and snap my legs back more."

Representing the Northland boys team at regional was senior Will Barnes in the 110 hurdles and the 200.

Barnes competed at state the past two seasons. He ran on the 400 relay that was second in 2010 and placed fifth in the 110 hurdles (14.66) last year. He also made the state final in the 200 a year ago but finished ninth (22.4), missing making the awards podium by one spot.

Brookhaven sent big contingent at regional

The Brookhaven boys team had one of the state's top athletes a year ago in Nigel Preacher, who advanced to the Division I regional meet in four events. He went on to become the Bearcats' first high-jump state champion and placed third at state in the long jump.

The Bearcats had a larger group of athletes competing at regional this year, as its 400, 800 and 1,600 relays and three individuals all advanced from the district 2 meet that concluded May 19 at Darby.

Last season, Brookhaven had one relay and three individuals at regional.

Competing at regional were senior Shawn Campbell in the high jump, senior Tajuan Green in the 100, junior Clevis Towns in the 300 hurdles, the 400 relay of junior Lei'Tonn Backus, junior Joshua Baker, Green and Towns, the 800 relay of Backus, Baker, Green and Towns and the 1,600 relay of Baker, junior Broderick Higginbotham, junior Donivan Qualls and Towns.

"We're kind of happy (with how many guys we got to regional)," Green said. "We could have had more."

Competing at regional for the girls team was senior Charletta Henley in the long jump.