By winning championships in the girls 100 and 200 meters at the Division II state track and field meet June 1 at Ohio State, Makiya Montgomery became the first athlete from Beechcroft High School to capture multiple state titles in the same season.
There could be more to come considering she’s a junior.
Montgomery won the 100 in 11.97 seconds and 200 in 24.12.
As a freshman, she won the 100, was state runner-up in the 200 and placed fourth in the 400. Last season, she was state runner-up in both the 100 (11.93) and 200.
“I had people that were looking at me to make them proud, so that’s what I had to do,” Montgomery said. “Last year coming in second wasn’t a good feeling, so I just had to kick it in. This feels exciting to be able to really show that my hard work paid off by winning state championships. It just feels great.”
Montgomery also joined junior Zha’Mia Vick, senior Larissa Bronte-Agbor and sophomore Amara Allen on the third-place 800 relay (1:43.7) as Beechcroft scored 26 points to tie for fourth behind champion Cincinnati Indian Hill (43) as 70 teams scored.
Also at state for the Cougars, the 400 relay of Vick, freshman Barrie, Bronte-Agbor and Montgomery finished 13th (50.14).
“Last year in the (800 relay), we got (disqualified) at districts and our time was a state-qualifying time,” Bronte-Agbor said. “This year, it’s the same exact team so we promised we’d do better and we did.”
Also scoring at state from the City League in Division II was the South girls 800 relay of sophomore Evon Arnold, freshman Spiritual Wilson Foster Wright, junior Jurnie Hemsley and senior Kadai Greene-Tucker (fifth, 1:43.92).
“It feels good,” Greene-Tucker said. “Nobody from South has done this for a long time. During the season, we’ve been working very hard, leaving meets and placing in every event.”
Also for the Bulldogs, Wilson Foster Wright placed ninth in the 200 (25.69), Greene-Tucker finished 12th in the 300 hurdles (46.66) and the 1,600 relay of Greene-Tucker, Hemsley, Wilson Foster Wright and senior Rayshawna Wilkins was 14th (4:07.6).
South scored four points to tie for 49th.
Also in Division II, the East boys 800 relay of seniors Jauron Armstrong, Dayshaun Holt and Deylene Powell and junior Samuel Pierre did not finish.
Thornton wins title for Punchers
Considering he graduated earlier in the day, Mifflin senior Aman Thornton experienced a series of emotions June 1 after capturing the Division I state championship in the 800 in 1:51.16.
He held off Dublin Jerome’s Elliott Cook (1:51.49) and Pickerington Central’s Brady Johnson (1:52.37) for the title.
“To come to this, halfway sick with asthma, and I got clipped everywhere,” Thornton said. “I felt like I wanted a (title).”
Nubians capture two state titles
Heading into the Division III state meet, the Africentric boys track program had never won a championship.
The Nubians left the meet with two.
Senior Anthony Bowman cruised to an easy championship in the high jump May 31 by clearing 6 feet, 10 inches, and senior Anthony Tyler captured the title in the 300 hurdles (38.73) the next day.
Bowman and Tyler also ran on the sixth-place 800 relay with junior Shamon Peyton and sophomore Justin Fudge (1:30.95) as the Nubians tied for seventh (23) behind champion East Canton (42) as 78 teams scored.
“(Bowman) got more confident,” coach Marcus Vaughn said. “It was hard for him being in a sport that he’s not familiar with and having a big target on his back. Having to adjust to that to everyone knowing who he is, once he could focus on jumping, he improved. He loves jumping. Everything about it calms him down.
“I love (Tyler). He’s getting better and better at the right time. He wanted to make sure that this year he ran a good time.”
Bowman, who has committed to Tiffin and was state runner-up in the high jump last season, won the state title when he cleared 6-7 but then cleared both 6-9 and 6-10 for the first time. He also attempted the state record of 7 1/2 three times.
“At state last year, I got scared and kept slipping,” said Bowman, who was new to track and field last season. “I was nervous before I came in this year and then everybody started eliminating themselves and it was like I was back in the game now. I had a feeling I was going to be able to win, but I didn’t think I’d be able to win it easily. I thought I’d be pushed until at least 6-9. I don’t know what happened (with the 6-10 jump). I just had a lot of adrenaline.”
Tyler, who has received interest from Central State, Ohio Dominican and Tiffin, was 14th in the 300 hurdles last season. This spring, he lost the event only twice.
“I (ran a personal-best time) again and ended my season with four titles (at the City, district, regional and state levels),” Tyler said. “After chickening out last year and placing 14th, it feels good to finish on top. My goal was to win and I accomplished it.”