Wright grabs another gold

Wellsville junior Justin Wright shows off his Div. III state 100-meter dash championship gold medal on Saturday. (Photo by Ron Firth)

COLUMBUS — Wellsville junior Justin Wright added a second state title at the state track meet Saturday. It took a state record to deny him a third on the weekend.

Wright won the Division III 100-meter dash on Saturday, hours after capturing the state long jump title Friday night. He finished his day by placing second in the 200 dash.

“I lost to a great runner, but I got two golds and silver and I’m happy with that,” Wright said. “I was hoping for this. With the offseason work I put in, I expected it. With hard work comes results.”

Wright scored 28 points to single-handedly put Wellsville in fourth place in the team standings.

“What a weekend,” Wellsville coach Randy Thrasher said. “I’m proud of him.”

After a dramatic win the in long jump the day before, Wright was an easy winner in the 100 dash in 10.69 seconds.

Wright is one of those athletes who fans have to see at a meet.

“It’s nice to know people are paying attention to him,” Thrasher said. “It’s a credit to all the work he’s put in.”

Wright wrapped up his weekend by taking second in the 200 dash (21.65), trailing only Kalida senior Josh Verhoff.

Verhoff’s winning time of 21.39 broke the Division III state recrod of 21.50 set by Cadiz’s Denver Williams in 1995.

“I feel happy with the results,” Wright said. “I’m disappointed in the 200, but Josh (Verhoff) is a great kid and he ran a great time.”

“That kid ran a good race,” Thrasher said. “It will be a little motivation for Justin next year.”

Wright vowed to break Verhoff’s record next season.

“I told him, ‘You set the bar high. I’m going to be chasing you next year.'”

Wright already is looking forward to his next trip to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium

“I’m coming back for golds, three gold medals,” he said. “And I’d like to come back with the 4×1. I would rather run with my friends.”

Who wouldn’t want to run on a relay team with one of the fastest runners in Ohio?

“We’ve got a couple of kids at school who are fast, we just have to get them to come out,” Thrasher said. “Maybe the motivation of running with Justin will bring them out.”

Wright plans to take month off and will play summer basketball in Steubenville on Sundays.

“He was already talking about working out,” Thrasher said. “We said, ‘You have to take a month off.’ You have to enjoy this time of your life.”

State notes

¯ The last time Columbiana County had an athlete win state titles in two individual events was Leetonia sprinter Arnold Brooks in 1984. Brooks won the 100 dash (10.96) and 200 dash (22.21) in leading the Bears to the Class A team title.

¯ Thrasher said there would be a lot to talk about on the ride back home to Wellsville.

“He’ll talk about the second place,” Thrasher predicted.

¯ Wright had a lot of family members following him at the state meet.

“We took a lot of family photos,” he said.