Fairbanks senior Beau Sloan, far right, sprints down the track Saturday morning at The Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Sloan placed fourth during the boys’ Division III 100-meter dash state finals.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
A pair of veteran high school track runners and a newcomer took center stage for Union County on Saturday during the finals of the state meet at The Ohio State University.
Fairbanks High School senior Beau Sloan and Jonathan Alder fourth-year man Jase Headings each placed fourth in their respective events… the Division III boys’ 100 meter dash (Sloan) and Division II boys’ 800 meter run (Headings).
Jonathan Alder freshman Morgan Hicks followed suit with a fourth-place spot during the girls’ D-II 3200 meter run.
Sloan ran a better time during Saturday’s finals than he did in 2017, when he was the state runner-up.
He was clocked at 10.92, as compared to 11.02 a year ago.
“The competition was more stiff than it was last year,” said Sloan. “I wanted to run a sub 11, which I did, but I also wanted to win, so the race didn’t really go as well as I wanted.
“There were several of us back from last year’s finals and we were all hungry to win,” he said. “However, I can’t complain… it was a fun race.”
“I was pleased with Beau’s race,” said FHS head coach Jeff Powell. “He was in control out of the blocks, but at the end, he couldn’t keep up with the guys who had longer strides.
“There were a couple of 10.7’s,” he said.
Logan Bloir of Edon, who was third a year ago behind Sloan, won the race as he blazed down the track with a time of 10.73.
In comparison, last year’s champion, senior Mason Warnimont of Cory Rawson, won with a 10.91.
Wellsville’s Justin Wright was on Bloir’s heels with a runner-up finish of 10.74.
Tyler Boales of Centerburg finished right in front of Sloan at 10.91.
The race was Sloan’s final athletic activity in a Panther uniform.
Now, he is looking toward the future and football at the University of Findlay.
He will leave for summer camp in July.
Headings went into the 800 finals with the second-best seed time of 1:54.21.
That only trailed the 1:53.19 that was turned in by Heath’s Chandler Wilhelm.
Headings was in third place after the first lap of the race. He slipped back to fourth and couldn’t make another move during the final 400 meters.
“I got boxed-in by a pack of runners toward the end of the first lap,” he said. “I couldn’t fight my way out of it.”
Headings crossed the finish line in 1:54.69.
Wilhelm won the race in 1:53.22, while James Ray of Clark Montessori (1:53.93) and Sam Bush of Cuyahoga Falls CVCA (1:54.12) were respectively second and third.
“I don’t think I ran my best race, but I got to the awards podium,” said Headings, who was also a member of the Pioneers’ state meet cross-country team last fall. “That was my goal.”
The temperature began to climb by the time Hicks took to the track at OSU’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
“It was very hot today,” she said.
Hicks, who was one of only two freshmen in the race, fluctuated between eighth and ninth place during the first couple of laps and between seventh and eighth at the midway point.
She had advanced to sixth early into the final go-around of the eight-lap race when something happened.
“With about 300 meters to go, something in my mind told me I had better run faster,” said Hicks with a smile.
The freshman gave it one last kick and moved past two runners to earn her fourth-place finish with a time of 11:16.08.
The trio of runners who finished ahead of Hicks were all older.
Anna Foster, a senior from Sheridan, claimed the championship with a time of 10:34.34.
The runner-up was Kettering Alter senior Perri Bockrath (10:37.36).
Third place went to Madi DeBos, a junior from Tuscarawas Valley, who crossed the finish line in 11:11.84.
With a state finish under her belt, Hicks can look forward to three more years of high school competition.
“I’m really excited (about the future),” she said.
The local area was also represented in two other events during Saturday’s finals.
Jonathan Alder freshman Maddie Davis placed 15th during the 16-girl 1600 meter run with a time of 5:23.08.
JA senior Lexi Thorpe trailed the field in the 18-girl field in the 800 run. Her time was 2:24.18.
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