The Whitehall-Yearling High School boys and girls track and field teams closed the season competing in the Division I state meet May 31 and June 1 at Ohio State, and although both squads failed to score, the coaches were pleased by what they saw this spring.
Senior Chris Ceasar, who battled a left hamstring injury late in the season, was disqualified in his 110-meter hurdles heat. He attributed the injury for the disqualification.
“I made it here and I can say that I was one of the top runners in the state,” said Ceasar, who will compete in college at Tiffin. “It’s an accomplishment to make it here, so there’s no reason to be upset. I made it here, so I achieved my goal.”
Boys coach Aaron Johnson said Ceasar left his mark on the program.
“He did accomplish his goal,” Johnson said. “It’s a lead-leg hamstring, which is tough to come back from. He always finished strong. He was a hard-working kid since day one. He was happy to be here and when you have an attitude like that, it just shows how far you can go.”
Seniors Raymell Byrd and Rashaad Strickland and juniors Christian Gordon and Charles Miller were disqualified in their 400-meter relay preliminary because of an illegal exchange.
Johnson said a highlight this season was the boys team winning the MSL-Ohio Division meet May 10 on the Rams’ home track. Ceasar won the 110 hurdles (14.88 seconds) and 300 hurdles (39.73), and he joined Gordon, Miller and sophomore Keith Hodge on the first-place 800 relay (1:31.48).
Byrd won the 100 (program-record 11.22) and teamed with Strickland, Miller and Gordon to win the 400 relay (43.49). They also hold the program record in the 400 relay (42.64).
Senior Keon Freeman won the shot put (47 feet, 1/2 inch) and senior Hezekiah Freeman was first in the long jump (19-11).
Ceasar established the program record in the 110 hurdles (14.44), Keon Freeman set the program record in the shot put (50-6 3/4), Hezekiah Freeman holds the program record in the long jump (21-9 1/4) and Byrd owns the program record in the high jump (6-3).
Junior Liana Betts represented the girls team at state and finished 15th in the discus (120-0). She also holds the program record in the event (126-7).
“Liana having the school record and making it to the state meet this year, I’m hoping to improve upon that,” girls coach Stephanie Wilcox said.
“We’re hoping to have a little more offseason training for her.”
Betts led the Rams in the league meet, finishing second in the shot put (34-9) and discus (103-7).
Junior Janatie Alvarez holds the program record in the 400 (1:01.3).
“We had some really strong performances,” Wilcox said. “We still have small numbers, which makes it really hard to have the success that we want to see.”
Softball players earn all-league recognition
Two softball players received all-league honors in the MSL-Ohio.
Sophomore Mackenzie Schmittauer (SS) was first-team all-league and senior Alyson Shoemaker (2B) was second-team all-league.