Liza Streit of Jonathan Alder runs down the straightaway in the 4×800-meter relay race during the Division II regional track meet at Lexington High School. The Lady Pioneers finished the race in first place to advance to the state meet, which will take place at Pickerington North High School starting Friday. (Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)
Jonathan Alder will be represented in three events during the upcoming Division II state track and field meet.
Competition will be held Friday and Saturday at Pickerington North High School.
In year’s past, the state meet for Divisions I-II-III was held at The Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
OSU has not hosted any state high school competitions since the coronavirus pandemic struck in March of 2020.
JA senior Morgan Hicks will compete in two of the state events – one on Friday and the other on Saturday.
Hicks will run one leg of the girls 4×800 meter relay final that is set for 2 p.m. on Friday.
She will be joined by sophomore Evie McDaniel, senior Elaina Winslow and sophomore Liza Streit.
The Lady Pioneers will take a seed time from the regional of 9:34.84 into the race.
Alder won the regional 4×800 title last weekend.
The other teams which will compete in the final race on Friday include (seed times listed):
-Gates Mills Hawken, 9:38.61;
-Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, 9:30.28;
-Tuscarawas Valley, 9:43.19;
-Fairfield Union, 9:55.28;
-Gates Mills Gilmour, 9:39.22;
-Dayton Carroll, 9:41.13;
-Chagrin Falls, 9:31.96;
-Dayton Oakwood, 9:08.72;
-Peninsula Woodridge, 9:24.61;
-Alliance Marlington, 9:33.15.
“Unless something crazy happens, Oakwood will likely run away with the championship,” said Jonathan Alder head coach Justin Creps. “They have already topped the previous state record by two seconds and have run about 15 seconds faster than any other D-II relay this year.
“After that, the field gets a lot tighter,” he said. “I would say Woodridge and Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary are probably the favorites to vie for the runner-up spot. However, there are about eight other teams, including us, which will be right on their heels.
“Based on regional performances, teams 3-10 are all within a few seconds of each other.”
Hicks will also compete in the girls 3200 meter run final on Saturday at 3:50 p.m.
She will take a seed time of 10:46.81 into the state finals.
Hicks won the regional meet (with a new region record and new school mark) with that time last weekend.
Others who will compete in the 3200 (with seed times) are as follows:
-Sydney Hambel, New Lexington, 11:59.37;
-Grace Hartman, Dayton Oakwood, 10:40.02;
-Lydia Randolph, Ashtabula Edgewood, 11:08.21;
-Sara Skaff, Sandusky Perkins, 11:30.05;
-Juliana Metz, Gates Mills Hawken, 10:52.16;
-Madison Eyman, Lancaster Fairfield Union, 11:06.94;
-Halle Sebest, Poland Seminary, 11:29.21;
-Regan Cornelius, Columbus Academy, 11:25.88;
-Abby Lesniak, Milan Edison, 11:20.16;
-Rose Hoelzel, Chagrin Falls, 11:22.28;
-Audrey DeSantis, Springfield Shawnee, 11:16.98;
-Hannah Moulton, Dayton Oakwood, 11:11.64;
-Camryn Barker, Carrollton, 11:44.24;
-Geneve Baril, Greenfield McClain, 11:58.91;
-Ella Gilson, Gates Mills Hawken, 10:47.32;
-Bella Graham, Alliance Marlington, 10:47.37;
-Jaina Hellmann, Middletown Bishop Fenwick, 11:27.59.
“This is an extraordinarily-talented year in the D-II girls 3200,” said Creps. “Most years, Morgan’s 10:46 would be a strong favorite.
“This year, there are two girls who have run faster times and a third who has also gone 10:47.
“I think that quartet (including Hicks) will all be racing with the intention to win a state championship on Saturday,” he said.
“There are a lot of variables that go into each race, but I would expect the winner to be in the 10:30’s,” said Creps. “The D-II girls state meet record is 10:34, so that could be in play this year.”
Joey Walker will compete in the boys high jump on Saturday at 10 a.m.
The JA junior will take a seed height of 6-4 into the competition.
His best effort of the season is 6-5, which he achieved during the Central Buckeye Conference meet.
Others in the field (including seed heights) are as follows:
-Ethan Furbee, Byesville Meadowbrook, 6-0;
-Kayden Davis, Swanton, 6-3;
-Caleb Branstetter, Galion, 6-6;
-Darius Woods, Akron Buchtel, 6-3;
-Jermaine Foster, Cleveland Glenville, 6-1;
-Jordin Evans, Norwood, 5-11;
-Trent Hacker, Ironton, 6-0;
-Paul Bryant, London Madison-Plains, 6-2;
-Liam Vinskovich, Belmont Union Local, 6-2;
-Brandon Cromer, Cincinnati Taft, 6-7;
-Dylan Odell, Milan Edison, 6-2;
-Dustin Franks, Lewistown Indian Lake, 6-0;
-William Harrison, Ironton, 6-0;
– Cameron Beverley, East Liverpool, 6-6;
-Jacob Wakefield, West Salem Northwestern, 6-0;
-Alex Cantor, Chagrin Falls, 5-11;
-Sean Perkins, Cambridge, 6-1;
-Ayden Bath, Vermilion, 6-3.
Creps said he’s not sure what to expect from the high jump.
“A lot can happen at the championships,” said the coach. “I hate saying a specific height will or won’t make the podium.
“If Joey jumps his best, I expect he will be in a good position at the end of the day”.
Creps just has simple goals for his athletes.
“I just want them to have fun and compete hard.”