OHSAA Division 1 Boys Preview
Watch for the Pickerington North team to make a strong run at the State Team championship. The team is led by Jr. Nick Gray who has State best leading times in the 100 (10.69). The 200 (21.00) and the 400 (47.41). He won all three at Regionals and anchored a very strong 4x400 (3:16.76) with an under 48 leg. In the 200, only State record holder Chris Nelloms has run faster (20.47 – 1990). Jr. Lucas Miller was 3rd in the 400 (48.23) and joins with Gray as they return to State in the 4x400 to defend their title (3:14.73) Joining Gray and Miller is another returner on the 4x400, Sr. Trey Browder. Freshman Jayvonta Tolliver joins his teammates in the 4x400. Gray was 5th in the 400 finals last year (48.28).
The 4x800 should be exciting as St. Xavier may push the D1 State record of 7:39.72 as they ran a state leading, US#8, 7:43.61 in Regionals. St. Xavier’s 4x800 is led by Sr. Michael Hall who also ran 1st in the 1600 (4:17.50) and 3rd in the 800 (1:54.38) and Jr. Michael Vitucci, who ran 2nd to Hall in the 1600 (4:17.54). Jr. Brad Eagan and Sr. John Talbot round out the squad.
In the 110m hurdles last year’s 2nd place finisher, Steele Wasik of St. Edwards returns. He has a State leading time of 14.03. He should be challenged by last year’s number 4 finisher Paedyn Gomes of West Geauga (14.37) and returners Richard Floyd of Strongsville (14.59) and Rameses Owens of Shaker Hts. (14.54).
In the 100m, one has to pick Pickerington North’s Nick Gray (10.69). His closet challenger may be DeVohn Jackson, of Cincinnati Northwest (10.80). It may come down to the start, but Gray may challenge Brandon Saine of Piqua’s 2006 D1 record of 10.38, as well as Gahanna Lincoln’s Blake Herriot’s State Meet and Owens Stadium record of 10.47 set in 2009.
In the 4x200, we won’t see any meet records. However, it should be a very close race that just may come down to the exchanges. Macedonia Nordonia has the fastest qualifying time of 1:26.57. Berea-Midpark posted a 1:26.76 and Austintown-Fitch a 1:26.88.
The boys 1600 wont’ challenge the 4:05.13 D1 State record set by Westerville North’s Bob Kennedy in 1988, but it will be an exciting event to watch. Twinsburg Sr. Garrett Crichlow has the State leading 4:09.26 and Solon Sr. Kevin Blank is just behind him with the State’s #2 time of 4:10.09. Don’t be misled by the Regional times. St. Xavier’s Sr. Michael Hall returns and was second last year in 4:09.45. This race will come down to the final 100m.
The 4x100 is always up for grabs. This year two teams have posted sub 42.00 times heading into State. Macedonia Nordonia ran 41.95 and Cleveland Glenville ran 41.96 in their respective Regions.
The 400 should go to Pickerington North’s Nick Gray. The Jr. leads the field and should win. He has a State leading time of 47.41 run at Central Regionals and having watched this race, he can go faster. He was 5th last year in 48.28. The only other returner to the last year’s finals is Jernard Pinckney of Sylvania Southview. He was 7th last year in 48.68 and ran 48.97 at Regionals.
The 300 hurdles should be a tough, close race. Lakewood’s Steele Wasik was 2nd last year and returns with the #2 time in the State (37.56). Cleveland Glenville Sr. Davon Anderson comes in with the fastest time in the State, running 37.54 in Regionals.
The 800 will be fast and may just be one of the most competitive 800’s in recent history. Cleveland St. Ignatius’ Mark Sylvester’s 2001 record of 1:48.93 probably won’t be challenged, but the winner just may go under 1:50. Last year’s #4 placer, Lancaster Sr. Stephen Sparks (1:53.12) decided to not run the 1600 at Regionals and posted the State leading time of 1:51.23. A step behind him was Granville’s Sr. Tyler Otterstedt who posted 1:52.24. Sr. Garrett Crichlow of Twinsburg comes in with a 1:52.65. Sr. Ethan Valentine of Mason ran 1:52.79 at Regionals. Six other runners have Regional qualifying times under 1:54.
Jr. Nick Gray has the State’s leading time of 21.00, run at Regionals coming into the State Meet. That bests last year’s winner Riak Reese of Gahanna Lincoln’s Stadium record of 21.13. He just may challenge the D1 State record of 20.47 set in 1990 by Chris Nelloms of Dayton Dunbar. However, he will be challenged by last year’s 3rd place finisher, Sr. Casey Lenfest of Granville who ran 21.83 last year and posted a 21.19 at Regionals. Sr. David Hatchett of Westerville Central ran 21.77 at Regionals and is a State finals returner, finishing 7th last year in 22.10. Five other runners have posted times under 22.00.
The boys 3200 just may break Reynoldsburg’s Tsehaye Hiluf’s 8:55.04, 2012 record. Last years 2nd place finisher, Sr. Nick Elswick of Chardon leads the field posting a State leading 8:57.93 in his Region. Kyle Mau, Hudson Jr. Kyle Mau ran second to Elswick in 9:03.28. In the Central Region, Sr. Toby Hardwick of Newark ran 9:04.47. Jr. Mark Hadley of Boardman, the State XC champion and last year’s #3 runner in the 3200 (9:05.66) ran 9:09.80. These runners all know each other. Elswick likes to push the pace. Hardwick is a strong kicker. Hiluf’s record is in jeopardy.
The boys 4x400 is always an exciting race. Pickerington North, anchored by Nick Gray has the leading time of 3:17.76. Cleveland Glenville has clocked 3:18.01. Sylvania Southview 3:18.42 and Austintown-Fitch 3:18.47. My pick is Pickerington North.
In the Discus, Sr. Jared Ballenger of Fremont Ross leads the State with a throw of 182-00. Sr. Max Seipel of Avon Lake is just behind Ballenger with a throw of 180-01. Medina Sr. Mike Hierholzer is at 173-05. Two other throwers come in with Regional throws over 170, including Lakewood St. Edwards’s Jr. Jonathan Zedella, the brother of last year’s winner, Aaron Zadella (196-06).
In the High Jump, only one underclassman has made the field. Last year’s 7th place finisher Jr. Eddie Daughtry of Mentor. He went 6-6 last year. Leading the remaining field of Sr.’s is Emanuel Durden of Holland Springfield with a jump of 6-10. The only other returner is Jermil Powell of Canal Winchester who was 9th last year (6-4). He comes in with a jump of 6-8. Seven other jumpers are over 6-5.
Sr. Jordan Latimer of Huber Heights Wayne leads the Long Jumpers with a jump of 24’01.25. Two other jumpers are over 23’. Sr. David Williams of Cleveland John F. Kennedy (23'03.75") and Sr. Herman Brunis of Fairfield (23'02.75").
The Shot features five returners led by last year #3 placer, Sr. John Maurins (59-05). He has the #2 throw in the State of 67’02.75. This is Maurins event to win.
The Pole Vault features four returners. Sr. Joe Ratterman of Cincinatti Elder (15-00). Sr. Kyle Hutchinson of Medina (14’06). Sr. Bryan Justice of Pataskala Licking Heights (15-00) and Sr. Nathan Fleischer of Troy (14’08). Fleischer was 3rd last year with a vault of 15-00. So. Lucas Kelley of Massillon Perry comes in with a Regional vault of 15-00.