Monte blazes into 110 finals with personal best

Beaver Local’s James Monte and Salem’s Zach Murray compete in the 110-meter hurdle preliminaries Friday during the Div. II state track meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. (Photo by Ron Firth)

COLUMBUS — Beaver Local freshman James Monte figured if he was going to the state track meet on Saturday, it would be as a spectator.

Instead, he’ll be running in the Division II boys 110-meter hurdles state finals.

Monte was second in his heat and fifth overall as he tied his personal best in 14.91 seconds.

“That was pretty much out of the blue,” he said. “That was kind of an upset. I didn’t think I would get out of the prelims.”

The top two in each heat plus the next five fastest times advance to today’s state finals.

“I think I beat everybody to the first hurdle,” Monte said. “After the start I had, I didn’t see anyone ahead me, I thought I might win it. It was a great day.”

“I knew right out of the blocks he was in front of me,” Salem junior Zach Murray said.

Where did it come from?

“I don’t even know,” Monte said. “Lots of practice this week.”

His next race will be the biggest of his young career.

“I want to stand on the podium,” Monte said. “That would be pretty amazing for a freshman.”

United junior Jaret Hahn also will be in the Division III state finals in the 110 hurdles.

Hahn was fourth in heat and seventh overall (15.39).

“Jaret Hahn is such a good kid,” Monte said. “He beat me at county.”

State notes

¯ Monte’s actual time was 14.901 seconds to break a fifth-place tiebreaker.

¯ Lisbon junior Izzy Perez was eighth in her heat and 16th overall in the Division III girls 100 dash (12.97) and ninth in her heat and 16th overall in the 200 dash (26.86).

¯ Murray did not advance in either Division II hurdles, finishing sixth in his heat and 13th overall in the 110 hurdles (15.17) and eighth in his heat and 15th overall in the 300 hurdles (40.44). He was mistakenly listed as second in his 300 hurdles heat on the scoreboard.

Murray, along with seniors Josh Lehwald, Turner Johnson and Jess Paumier, were eighth in their heat and 14th overall in the 800 relay (1:31.27).

“We were hoping for a PR,” Murray said. “If we had a PR, we had a better chance.”

¯ Beaver Local junior Teddi Kinsey was seventh in her heat and 13th overall in the Division II girls 100 hurdles (16.04) and eighth in her heat and 16th overall in the 300 hurdles (47.31).

¯ East Liverpool junior Michael Billingsley was seventh in his heat and 16th overall in the Division II boys 100 dash (11.26) and eighth in his heat and 15th overall in the 200 dash (23.29).

¯ The Minerva girls 800 relay team of Amanda Kukaunis, Julie White, Idresia Leavell and Alyssa Markins was ninth in its heat and 16th overall (1:47.04).