Jazzlynn Gaiters was able to channel her frustration in a productive way.

Jazzlynn Gaiters was able to channel her frustration in a productive way.

The sophomore for the Thomas Worthington High School girls track and field team was disqualified for a false start in the final of the 400 meters in the Division I regional meet held May 25 and 27 at Pickerington North.

That cost Gaiters a return trip to the state meet, which is Friday, June 3, and Saturday, June 4, at Ohio State, in the event as well as a chance to improve on her third-place finish (55.32 seconds) a year ago.

Later at regional, Gaiters earned a state berth by teaming with Allyicia Diggs-Hall, Christina Nash and Gia Napoleon to finish fourth in the 1,600 relay in a program-record 3:53.05.

The top four finishers in each regional event advanced to state.

"I just tried to take all of my anger from (the false start in the 400) and focus it on this," Gaiters said. "We were able to break the (program) record by two seconds."

Gaiters has been nursing a hamstring injury but is getting healthy at the right time.

"I pulled my right hamstring in the first meet of the season (April 2 in the Newark Invitational)," she said. "I miss not being in the 400, but the team needed me in the (1,600 relay). I was glad to get back (to state) in that event."

Last season at state, Gaiters teamed with Kiara Coleman, Nash and Jewel Henderson to finish seventh in the 1,600 relay (3:55.09).

Napoleon also advanced to state in the 800 by finishing second (2:13.71). The freshman placed fourth in the event (2:19.52) in the Division I indoor state meet March 5 at the University of Akron. She also was a member of the eighth-place 1,600 relay (4:04.6) with Diggs-Hall, Kyra Griffith and Henderson in that meet.

"My time was just off what I ran last week at district (2:13.44), but I'm still really excited that I qualified for state," Napoleon said. "I realize that the girls will get out pretty fast (at state), so I have to adapt to that. I like to start fast, so getting that will be important."

Napoleon ran the 800 at regional with the temperature approaching 90 degrees.

"The heat was hard when I was warming up because the air was heavy and muggy, but by the time I raced, my body was numb to it," she said.

The 3,200 relay of Nash, Haddie Lawler, Hannah Moulton and Napoleon placed eighth (9:34.58) for the Cardinals, who scored 14 points to tie Central Crossing and Northland for 19th behind champion Gahanna (109) as 37 teams scored.

Also competing at regional were Sarah Charley in the long jump (14th, 15 feet, 2 inches) and Lauren Hitt in the discus (14th, 98-4).

Qualifying for state for the boys team were Arjun Jha in the 1,600 (third, 4:18.66) and the 3,200 relay of Ty Banks, Andrew Morgan, Jha and Joshua Allen (third, 7:51.97).

"Last year, I had appendicitis during the middle of track season and now I'm grateful for every opportunity that I have to race," Jha said. "I went to watch (state) last year and it was a pretty impressive venue. There were a lot of great runners and I'm excited to go up against them."

Also at regional for the boys, Morgan was seventh in the 1,600 (4:26.0), Khalil Jones was eighth in the long jump (20-9) and 12th in the 300 hurdles (40.95), Cade Richeson placed ninth in the discus (147-9), Zander Wigney was ninth in the 400 (50.37), the 800 relay of Wigney, Antwan Howell, Jones and Mason Hunter was 12th (1:45.55) and Andrew Payne was 14th in the 3,200 (9:27.81).

The Cardinals tied Canal Winchester and New Albany for 15th (15) behind champion Pickerington Central (93) as 38 teams scored.

Wolves' Anaraodo qualifies for state

Ndidiamaka Anaraodo will represent the Kilbourne program in the Division I state meet.

The junior qualified for state for the first time by placing third in the girls shot put (37-8 1/4) at regional.

"We feel Didi hasn't reached her limit," girls coach Chip Seely said. "(Boys coach and throws coach) Josh Stegman has been working with her and doing a great job.

"We'll take her down for a walk-through at Ohio State and give her the old speech from the movie 'Hoosiers' about it being the same size as the other places she has thrown, but there will just be more people. The thing is, it's special just to get there. Everything else is just gravy."

Based on her regional distance, Anaraodo is seeded 15th at state.

"The district brought out 412 throwers and for Didi to be in the top 16 of those girls is an accomplishment in itself," Stegman said. "Recently, she has been throwing very consistently, and that's the primary reason she has been able to make it this far."

Anaraodo was the lone regional competitor for the girls team, which tied Teays Valley for 29th (6).

The only regional competitor for the boys team was senior Khari Lindsay, who finished 12th in the discus (133-1) and did not score.