Wright, Rebels lead County runners
COLUMBUS — Runners from Columbiana County are expected to fill the Division III podium at the state track meet today.
Wellsville junior Justin Wright posted the top times in the preliminaries in both sprints, while the Crestview boys had the fastest time in the 800-meter relay and second-fastest in the 400 relay.
“It’s kind of surreal right now,” Crestview junior Jayce Meredith said. “I don’t want to jinx us. I’ve been thinking about this, coming in with the top time.”
Crestview’s team of seniors Dylan Huff and Meredith and sophomores Ethan Powell and Brandon Yanssens broke their school record in the 800 relay in 1 minute, 28.00 seconds, while being second fastest in the 400 relay (43.39).
“The 4×2 was awesome,” Meredith said. “Hopefully we’ll get down to the 127s (today).”
The 4×1, we’re 9/100ths of a second out of first. We’re in lane five coming in, so we’ll be fine.”
Wright posted the top times in the 100 dash (10.79) and 200 dash (21.75) before winning the state long jump title.
“It was an amazing day,” Wright said. “Not better than I expected.”
The top two finishers in each heat plus the next five fastest times advance to today’s state finals.
While Crestview has the top time in the 800 relay, Springfield’s Dante Argiro, Austin Tindell, Zach Ebert and Garrett Walker are second fastest (1:29.12).
“They’ve been on top of us every time we’ve run against them,” Walker said. “We’ve been whittling down their times. In all honesty, I think we can win.”
“I hope they push us so we can run the 1:27, but I think we’ll beat them,” Meredith said.
Walker posted the top time in the 400 dash (49.34) and was second in his heat and third overall in the 100 dash (11.0).
“I like to run enough to qualify,” Walker said. “It all comes down to finals.”
Huff was third in his heat and sixth overall in the 200 dash (22.44). Walker was ninth in the 200 dash, missing another finals spot by 1/100th of a second.
Walker doesn’t think Wright can be caught in today’s state finals.
“I can hope,” Walker said. “But props to him in the 100, 200 and long jump. He is miles ahead of everybody.”
¯ Wright’s main competition will be Kalida senior Josh Verhoff in both sprints (10.86 and 21.76).
He didn’t remember him from last year and had to look up Verhoff in the state results.
“I said where did this kid come from,” Wright said. “He must have been working hard all season.”
¯ Meredith was eighth in his heat and 16th overall in the 400 dash (51.65).
400 – “It’s hard to run the 400 after the 4×1,” he aid. “I was definitely drained.”
¯ “I don’t get really nervous until the day of the event,” Wright said. “When I walk into Jesse Owens, it’s like ahhh.”