Notebook: Groveport Madison Cruisers’ Jashaun McGraw delivers best throws in postseason

Dave Purpura
ThisWeek group
Canal Winchester's Dexter Mounts qualified for the Division I state track and field meet on the 800 and 1,600 relays. The 800 relay won a regional title in 1:27.91, and the 1,600 relay was third in 3:24.78.

Jashaun McGraw had a flair for suspense as he qualified for his first Division I state track and field meet.

The Groveport Madison senior achieved his district 2 championship distance of 49 feet, 4 ¼ inches in the shot put on his final throw May 18 at Hilliard Darby, and 10 days later in the regional meet at Pickerington North clinched a state berth by tossing 52-5 on the last of his six attempts to finish second.

None of his previous four throws — McGraw fouled on his first turn — would have been far enough to qualify.

“My first couple throws are always like my warm-ups, just seeing how I get through the ring and getting a feel for the throws,” McGraw said. “After that, I can really get it out there. I always aim (to get) 50 feet and up. Right before that final throw, I told my (throws) coach (John Motton), ‘Watch this.’ ”

McGraw’s final regional throw was the first time he had surpassed 50 feet in competition, although he had exceeded that mark several times in practice.

The top four finishers in each event qualified for state June 4 and 5 at Darby. Also, two at-large berths were awarded in each event based on times and distances statewide.

McGraw, who rushed for 2,400 yards and 20 touchdowns in his football career, overcame an injury to his right shoulder — his throwing shoulder — suffered in the fall.

“I didn’t think I’d do as well as I have. (State) was always in my mind, but I was just trying to make sure I PR’d every meet,” McGraw said. “Once I started back lifting and getting my technique back together, I started gaining distance. That wasn’t until the middle of the season.”

The Cruisers’ other regional qualifier, Kahari Davis, finished 12th in the 100 meters (11.33 seconds). Groveport scored eight points and tied Beechcroft and Olentangy Berlin for 24th behind champion Darby (68) as 36 teams scored.

•Wins from its 400 and 800 relays powered the Canal Winchester boys track team to 50 points and a third-place finish in the Division I regional.

The 400 relay of Hayden Hull, Blessing Johnson, Ishmael Moss and Dylan Randall was first in 42.61, and Elike Heh, Karson Martino, Dexter Mounts and Randall were on the winning 800 relay (1:27.91).

Also qualifying for state were Korbin Martino in the 400 (second, 47.22) and 200 (fourth, 21.79), Randall in the 100 (second, 10.61) and the 1,600 relay of Heh, Korbin Martino, Mounts and Aaron Rodoski (third, 3:24.78).

Competing but failing to advance were Mounts in the 400 (seventh, 51.82), Randall in the 200 (eighth, 22.49), Jonathan Chandler in the discus (13th, 126-10) and shot put (14th, 42-11 ¼) and Karson Martino in the 110 hurdles (13th, 15.94).

Neither of the girls team’s two regional qualifiers advanced to state. Allena Klamorick was seventh in the 800 (2:19.52) and Samantha Smith tied for eighth in the pole vault (11-0).

•The Canal Winchester club lacrosse team finished its inaugural season at 3-13 and expects to return all but one player in senior defender Raquan Clark.

Freshman attacker Harlee Hanna scored a team-leading 27 goals, sophomore defender Ty Bowman had 22 and sophomore attacker Chase Bowman added 20 for the Indians, who recorded the program’s first win April 28 with an 11-3 victory over Olentangy Orange’s B team and won two of their next three games after that.

Seeded 19th in the Division II, Region 7 tournament, Canal Winchester lost 15-0 at 12th-seeded Licking Valley in a first-round game May 15.

“This team is talented and young. They play hard and never quit. This group is also a physical group that isn’t afraid to play that way. They can run and play with finesse or grind it out physically,” coach Victor Paini said. “As for the future, it’s very bright. Our incoming classes from the middle school over the next couple of years are large classes with players that have been in the game for a few years. That coupled with high interest from new players at the high school level has me very encouraged about our numbers next year and an increased skill level.”

Freshman goalie Aidan Malone made 215 saves on 351 shots (61.3 percent).

Other expected returnees include junior Nick Haskins (midfielder), sophomore Brenden Nickerson (attacker/defender) and freshmen Skyler Deaton (attacker) and Hunter Henkel (attacker/faceoff specialist/midfielder).

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

CANAL WINCHESTER LACROSSE

Record: 3-13 overall

Senior lost: Raquan Clark

Key returnees: Chase Bowman, Ty Bowman, Harlee Hanna and Aidan Malone

Postseason: Lost to Licking Valley 15-0 in first round of Division II, Region 7 tournament