Members of the Fairbanks High School track and field program celebrate their district champion (girls) and third-place (boys) finishes. A number of FHS athletes will compete in the Division III regional at Chillicothe Southeastern this week. Pictured are from left, front row, Trey Good, Brogan Green, Brendan Baker and Kyler Wilson; second row, Amelia Cameron, Meghan Wenger and Lindsey Eddy; third row, Ellie Carter, Addie Thrush, Rachel Hoover, Kate Coy, Kinley Green, Caydee Breneman, Jordan Perry, Kate Ruff and Riordin Stauffer; fourth row, coach Jeff Powell, Braylon Green, Cohen Riley, Caleb Wenger, Sam Keller, Dylan Tobe, Kaleb Bosworth, Jeremy Ziegler, Gage Wilson, Will Schlueter, Zack Picklesimer and head coach Patrick Cotter. (Photo submitted)
The Fairbanks High School track and field program is coming off a superb Division III district meet performance.
The Lady Panthers captured the district title, while the boys were just two points shy of earning the runner-up spot.
FHS will be sending a number of athletes on to this week’s regional, either in individual or relay events.
The regional will be held today and Friday at Chillicothe Southeastern High School.
First-year head coach Patrick Cotter has nothing but praise for his teams.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for all of our student-athletes who have qualified for the regional,” he said. “They’ve worked hard and have pushed each other all year.
“That’s from our top-tiered athletes such as Trey Good and Macy Miller, down to our freshmen.”
The Panthers will be represented in every area of track and field, from weight to distance events, jumping to relay events and sprints.
The only event an FHS athlete won’t be in during the regional is the pole vault.
That is an event the Panthers stopped competing in during the mid to late 1980s.
The season got off to a little different start with the naming of Cotter as the head coach.
“I imagine some of our athletes were a little skeptical with a head coach who had neither coached nor run track and field,” said the former Marysville High School and Muskingum University baseball player.
“However, they realized the coaching staff (which includes former FHS head track and field coach Jeff Powell) knows how to train athletes,” said Cotter.
The Panther boss said he felt both the boys and girls teams had opportunities to win district titles.
“Our girls did and the boys came close,” said Cotter.
The 2021 spring season has been special for athletes all over Ohio.
The entire 2020 campaign was wiped out due to COVID-19.
“This year’s seniors didn’t get an opportunity to compete last year as juniors and this is the first high school track and field season for our sophomores,” said Cotter. “They all went out in each meet and took advantage of this year’s opportunities.”
Cotter has had a simple motto for the girls and boys teams.
He has stressed to each athlete to just “go and do your job.
“That’s what we did at the district,” said Cotter. “You can’t be much more happy with first and third place.”
Cotter said Panther athletes will approach the regional with the same mindset.
“If everybody goes out and does their job Wednesday and Friday, I think we’re going to be pretty happy when the regional concludes.”
The top four in each regional event will advance to next week’s Division III state meet, which will be held at Westerville North High School.
FHS athletes who will compete in the regional are as follows:
-Macy Miller: high jump, long jump, 100 and 300 hurdles:
-4 x 200 relay: (Kinley Green, Addie Thrush, Kate Coy, Lindsey Eddy);
-Green, 200 dash;
-Rachel Hoover, 800 and 1600.
-4×200 relay: Trey Good, Kaleb Bosworth, Gage Wilson, Brendan Baker);
-Good, 200 dash:
-4×100 relay: (Good, Kyler Wilson, Gage Wilson, Braylon Green);
-Gage Wilson and Zach Picklesimer, 300 hurdles;
-Bryant Fannin, discus;
-Billy Reed-Bodey, shot put.