At the Division I state boys track and field meet June 1 at Ohio State, Denzell Feagin captured championships in two individual events and ran on two first-place relays.
That doesn’t mean the recent Pickerington High School Central graduate isn’t open to new ideas.
As one of the representatives for Team Ohio in the Midwest Meet of Champions on June 8 at Michigan State, Feagin won the 100 meters (10.73 seconds), placed second in the 200 (21.72) and joined Huber Heights Wayne’s Zarik Brown, Dayton Belmont’s Herman Chongwaing and Solon’s Brett Shannon on the winning 400 relay (41.62).
What took place before the meet, though, was just as important to Feagin, who won state titles in the 100 and 200 and on the 400 and 800 relays.
“My favorite part about this weekend was just practicing with everyone,” he said. “I learned a few things and met some new people. It was a really fun weekend, getting to run with the guys you competed with all season. Everyone on the boys and girls teams did an outstanding job.”
Feagin helped the Team Ohio boys squad finish with 208.5 points to beat Michigan (165) and Indiana (99.5).
Central, which won the state title with a record 87 points, had two of its other top runners — recent graduates Evan Matthews and Terry Simuel — contribute to Team Ohio.
Matthews followed his state title in the 300 hurdles by winning the event in 37.59 at the Midwest meet.
Simuel was part of two relays, joining Elyria’s Jayvion Benton, Canal Winchester’s Nathan Simons and Brown on the winning 1,600 relay (3:16.4) and teaming with Simons, Pepper Pike Orange’s Eddie Harrell and Dayton Dunbar’s Zamir Youngblood on the runner-up 800 relay (1:28.17).
“It was definitely amazing,” Simuel said. “It was a great experience. I will remember that you have to trust others that you just met in a matter of days to run on a team together.”
Also turning in a runner-up finish was Dublin Coffman’s Josh Page in the 400 (48.91), while Africentric’s Anthony Bowman finished eighth in the high jump (6 feet).
Area girls help Ohio win title
The Team Ohio girls scored 199 points in the Midwest Meet of Champions to finish ahead of Michigan (177) and Indiana (97).
Throughout their prep careers, Thomas Worthington’s Gia Napoleon and Gahanna’s Madison Martinez battled for titles in the 800 and on relays, but the 2019 graduates teamed up for one of Ohio’s top performances June 8.
The 3,200 relay of Rocky River Magnificat’s Sam Bush, Martinez, Napoleon and Cincinnati Mariemont’s Marin Valentine won in 9:08.73.
“It was a blast running with Gia and to be on the same team for once,” Martinez said. “We’ve competed against each other all of high school, so to be on the same team for our last high school meet was a lot of fun. We went to a leadership conference together our sophomore year for a couple days, so we’ve been good friends all through high school.”
Also earning a title was Pickerington North’s Jameila Hunter, who ran on the first-place 400 relay (46.46) with Ravenna’s Azsah Bradley, Liberty Township Lakota East’s Kaylyn Heath and Cincinnati Princeton’s Kassie Jordan. Hunter also was fifth in the 100 (11.97).
Olentangy’s Lex Brookshire was runner-up in the 3,200 (10:50.02) while Upper Arlington’s Heidi Heuerman was fifth (11:13.9) in the event.
The 1,600 relay of Milford’s Andrea Armstrong, Napoleon, Coffman’s Isabelle Angerman and Martinez finished second (3:52.45).
Thomas’ Sarah Charley was runner-up in the long jump (18-2 1/4), Gahanna’s Brooke Johnson was sixth in the shot put (40-11 1/2) and Angerman was eighth in the 100 hurdles (15.35).
“It was a really fun experience to compete for Team Ohio,” Martinez said. “It’s cool getting to know some of the girls from different divisions that I don’t usually compete with. … I was really happy with everyone and how we competed against the other states.”