LEXINGTON — No area teams brought back a trophy from the Division II track and field regional here May 26, but a handful of individuals solidified their hopes of vying for a state title June 1 and 2 at Ohio State.
Sophomore Makiya Montgomery of Beechcroft — defending state champion in the 100 meters and runner-up in the 200 — dominated her specialties with respective winning times of 12.21 and 24.76 seconds.
"It’s just as exciting this year as it was last year," Montgomery said. "One thing I’ve learned is that you have to work even harder to stay on top. Every race, people are coming after you because you’re the state champion."
Columbus School for Girls won the 400 (49.26) and 800 relays (1:44.15). Imani Babatunde, Peyton Jackson and Asia Nguyen ran on both relays, which are dotted with underclassmen.
"Our program has a great tradition in the relays, but last year we didn’t get to state because of some untimely injuries," Babatunde said. "We’re really excited to win today and get back to states next week."
In the distance races, freshman Chloe Dawson of Buckeye Valley won the 1,600 (5:10.78), and Ohio State-bound senior Molly Fagin of Bexley coasted to first in the 3,200 (11:22.45).
"When I saw that Molly scratched in the 1,600, I thought I might have a chance, then I went out and ran a (personal record)," Dawson said.
Fagin, who was fourth in the state in the 3,200 in 2017, said she is aiming to break 11 minutes and crack the top three this year.
Jonathan Alder won the 3,200 relay (9:33.59).
On the boys side, Zach Kreft of Buckeye Valley and Chandler Wilhelm of Heath each won two gold medals.
Kreft, a state champion and meet record-holder in cross country, won the 1,600 (4:18.53) and 3,200 (9:29.77). The Notre Dame signee said afterward that he faces a tough decision whether to attempt the double at the state meet or focus on one event.
"It’s always hot at the state meet and it makes it very difficult for distance runners to give their best effort in two races," Kreft said. "We’ll probably wait until Saturday to make that decision. I really do want to win a state title in track to go with the one in cross country."
Wilhelm out-kicked Jase Headings of Jonathan Alder in the 800. He ran a career-best 1:53.19 and Headings clocked a 1:54.21. Wilhelm also anchored the first-place 3,200 relay (7:50.43).
"I love to compete with Jase," Wilhelm said. "I ran the perfect race pace-wise, and that concerns me more than the competition. The relay was really exciting because we broke the school record by seven seconds. We’re going to have a run a lot faster to win it next week. There’s some really fast times out there."
Hartley won the 800 relay (1:29.57) and DeSales (3:22.1) the 1,600 relay.
Miles Fleming anchored the winning relay for Hartley and added a second in the 100, third in the 200 and third with the 400 relay.
Sandusky Perkins won the boys meet with 70 points and Orrville scored the same total for the girls title.