Division 1 Highlights
Pickerington Central Wins All Four Relays, Dominates For D1 Team Title
Ohio MileSplit contributor Phil Grove said it best:
For the Pickerington Central Tigers, this weekend was historic. The boys won all four relays in Division 1 and won three individual events, netting a total of 87 points - a state meet record - after the dust had settled in Columbus.
It started on Friday with a US No. 5 4x800. Brady Johnson anchored the Tigers to the victory over St. Xavier (Cin.) and capped off the squad's 7:42.68 mark. St. Xavier came across in 7:43.05 with Kings finishing third in 7:47.46. Next came the sprint prelims and Pickerington Central would be all over those, putting them in the driver's seat to do some serious damage on Saturday.
The boys got a jumpstart to the second day in the 100 meter dash from Denzell Feagin and Lorenzo Styles. The duo combined for 16 points with Feagin winning in 10.67 (-0.6) and Styles finishing third in 10.85 (-0.6). Not too much later, the duo combined with Evan Matthews and Terry Simuel to run a State Meet and Overall Division 1 record, as well as an Owens Stadium record in the 4x200. Their 1:24.42 sits at US No. 4 now.
The hits kept coming from the Tigers as the picked up points in five of the next six events. Garner Wallace grabbed fourth in the 1600 with a 4:16.01 personal best and US No. 8 among sophomores. The 4x100 then stole a win out of Lane 1 (41.49), just edging out Massillon Washington (41.55) for the victory. With no one in the 400 meter dash, they had to wait a few minutes for their next spot.
Evan Matthews - fresh off his US No. 1 36.12 - would provide that score with his win in the 300 Hurdles. He would come across the line in 36.88, well enough ahead of Mount Vernon's Cory Berg (37.30).
Next was Brady Johnson again, who, after closing the door in the 4x800, hung on for third place in the open 800, running 1:52.80, just off his personal best 1:52.37. Denzell Feagin then followed with his fourth gold of the weekend as he crossed the line in the 200 in 21.44 (-1.2) and the boys capped off the meet with a 3:16.34 4x400 to secure the incredible 63 point victory over Whitmer.
Thomas Worthington Outlasts Gahanna Lincoln In Girls 4x800
Imagine running a US No. 10 mark, but finishing 7th at your state meet.
The Division 1 Girls 4x800 may as well have been the national meet because it was an absolute electric factory on Friday. Seven teams broke 9:06 and ran top 10 marks in the nation.
It was a particularly incredible race up front as we saw the first four sub-9:00 4x800s on the season, led by the ladies from Thomas Worthington.
Lydia Miller, Morgan Edwards, Gia Napoleon, and Carina Napoleon (picked by this author to do exactly what they did) were able to put together a run for the ages. Though it fell just short of Gahanna Lincoln's state meet record from a year ago, the Lady Cardinals were able to hold off Madison Martinez and the Lincoln ladies by a slim margin to eke out their victory.
Not to be outdone, Beavercreek - the previous Ohio No. 1 squad - was not far off with their 8:58.95 clocking. Just behind them was Mason in 8:59.71 and then came Medina, Turpin, and Hilliard Davidson in 9:04.00, 9:04.55, and 9:05.88 respectively.
It was an epic showdown on Friday, one that many of us saw coming. It is hard to imagine anyone could have predicted the kind of 4x800 depth that was put on display, but the Division 1 girls definitely showed why Ohio is (arguably) the middle distance capital of the country at the moment.
Riley Hunt Breaks Own State Record In Pole Vault
Greenville's Riley Hunt has continued to climb and push the envelope throughout her historic junior year. On Saturday, she capped it all off with another state record and a US No. 5 jump.
The pole vault phenom had already cleared the new Division 1 state record 13-6.5 during the season. It was her fifth time over 13-0 on the season (after having cleared it twice in 2018) and she still had the state series left to go. After an 11-0 clearance at the district meet, she was back over 13' again at the Region meet with her 13-3 performance. She sat directly in the driver's seat heading into the state meet's festivities as she looked to grab her second straight outdoor title.
Hunt would sail through and secure the victory after clearing 12-8 on her first try. She then looked to better her state record, as well as secure the state meet and stadium records. Hunt would miss twice at 13-3 before clearing the height and then do the same at 13-7 before sailing up and over on her ninth run of the day. She then made three attempts at 14-0 before calling it a day.
The Greenville athlete competed at New Balance Nationals Outdoor last summer and we could see her again this year with a real shot at challenging for a national championship.