Division 2 Highlights
Montgomery, Tucker Pull in 100/200 Doubles
Two of Ohio's most prolific sprinters throughout the 2019 season put on clinics in the short sprints on Friday and Saturday with both Beechcroft's Makiya Montgomery and Cuyahoga Valley Christian's Tre Tucker securing the 100/200 double in Division 2.
After finishing as the runner-up in both events in 2018, Montgomery was able to secure golds in both with an 11.97 (-4.2) in the 100 and 24.12 (-0.7) in the 200. She finished up her junior campaign as the No. 4 all conditions performer in the state in the 100 (11.77, +1.6) and the top all conditions performer in the 200 with her 24.00 (+2.5) mark.
On the other side of the competition in Division 2, Tre Tucker was busy dominating the short sprints once again. In similar fashion, he pulled down victories in the 100 (10.90, -2.0) and 200 (21.66, -0.7), and also added a victory in the long jump (23-3.5, +1.1).
Tucker finished out his high school career with five individual victories outdoor after winning the 100 and long jump last spring and added a gold in the indoor 60 meter dash this winter.
Shelby Boys Dominate Distance Events Again
Coming off an impressive team victory on the indoor circuit, it was difficult to count out the Shelby boys as they headed outdoors. A healthy distance squad was bound to spell trouble for the rest of the state as the firepower they provided seemed almost too strong to handle.
In the 4x800 on Friday, the team of Caleb Brown, Blake Lucius, Samuel Logan, and Sam Swanger kicked off the scoring with 10 points in a US No. 11 time of 7:45.15, just two seconds ahead of Warren (7:47.60). Saturday would prove to be the biggest day for the Shelby distance squad, though, as they put together several impressive performances on the Owens Stadium track.
Caleb Brown started his 1600/3200 double pursuit with a 4:16.56 run in the 1600. Though it was three seconds off his 4:13.26 personal best, it was more than enough to get the job done as he was able to hold off Warren's Trent Sayre (4:17.58) and his teammate Samuel Logan (4:19.17). With 26 points to their names, Shelby was far from done.
Next up was Blake Lucius in the 800. The heavy favorite, Lucius would have to put together a personal best performance to hold off the challenge from Perkins' Parker Brown. Both boys would come across well under 1:54, though, with Lucius crossing first in 1:53.58. Brown would finish in 1:53.78 for second and Warren's Ethan Yost was third in 1:54.04.
Later in the 3200, Brown would add another 10 points, cruising to a 9:29.58 winner. "Cruising" would be the operative word, here, as Brown made it look easy and never gave the spectators much doubt. It was well off his season and personal best mark of 9:05.16, but it was enough to hold off Tippecanoe's Bryce Conley (9:32.12). Logan would add points in this one, as well, as his fourth place finish in 9:38.60 gave the duo 31 individual points on the day between them. He was just behind Salem's Hunter Christopher (9:34.16).
Their 57 points outpaced Cuyahoga Valley Christian (42) and Warren (35), securing them yet another team victory on the strength of their phenomenal distance runners.
Anna Podojil, Indian Hill Put On a 400 Meter Clinic
Heading to the weekend's festivities, many eyes were on the Division 2 Girls 400 Meters. What unfolded hardly disappointed.
The reigning champion, Tuslaw's Ke'aijhan Strong was looking to pull in her second straight outdoor title in the event and third straight overall (2019 indoor D2/3). Having finished second behind her in the last two state meets, Indian Hill's Anna Podojil was looking to finally make the leap and grab her own gold.
Podojil kicked things off in the prelims with a 55.55 opener to take Lane 4 heading into finals. Strong was second and would be right next to her in Lane 5 with her 56.89. After having run 54.78 earlier in the season, Podojil still had some time to drop and it looked like Strong was going to have put something special together to catch her as they went into finals.
Then Podojil dropped the hammer.
53.67 for the Indian Hill senior! A new personal best and US No. 20 mark earned her a huge victory in the event. "I just wanted to give it my all, this probably being my last track meet ever...it just felt so good to be back on top again."
Podojil missed some time with an injury, but bounced back and put together one of the strongest races Ohio has seen all season in the 400.
The future collegiate soccer player wasn't done putting on a clinic for the fans just yet, though. She would return to anchor her team to a new Division 2 state meet and overall record in the 4x400 relay of 3:49.30. They finished seven seconds ahead of second place Buchtel.
The 4x400 capped off the team title for the Indian Hill crew. The girls won the state title in Division 2 with 43 points overall, helped along by the 20 points in the one-lap related events, but also propelled along by Podojil's second place finish in the 100 and third place finish in the 200, the 4x800's sixth place finish, Elizabeth Whaley's fourth place finish in the 1600, and Ellie Podojil's third place finish in the 300 Hurdles.