Records Tumble At 2020 OATCCC State Meet

Division 1 Highlights

Justin Braun Becomes Third Sophomore To Break 47 Indoors

What do only Bryan Herron, Tyrese Cooper, and Thomas Worthington sophomore Justin Braun have in common? 

They are the only three American sophomores to ever break 47 seconds in the indoor 400 meter dash.

On Saturday, Braun rolled an eye-popping 46.77, nearly two seconds ahead of runner-up Korbin Martino, and 0.36 seconds better than the 30-year-old state record of 47.13. 

Braun already boasted several impressive accolades in his short career. As a freshman, he earned a Division 1 state championship outdoor after finishing 4th indoor, running a US No. 6 all-time freshman mark indoor (48.96) and US No. 5 all-time freshman mark outdoor (46.76). Heading into this meet, his 47.36 was just ahead of the second best performer in the country and had him fourth all-time among sophomores. 

Now, Braun can also boast the first sub-47 400 of 2020, a near full second cushion on the second fastest runner in the country, the third fastest mark all-time among sophomores, and the tenth fastest indoor mark all-time, all grades. He is also US No. 6 in the 200 after securing the gold medal in that event with his 21.38 showing. 

Braun is now the favorite to win the New Balance Nationals Indoor championship in the 400. Based on current entries, he holds the fastest indoor personal best of any other competitor.

In fact, there's only one active high school athlete in the country with a faster indoor personal best than Braun, and it's Missouri's Justin Robinson who won the event last year in 46.33. 


Taylor Ewert Coasts To 1600/3200 Double

In a state with so many stellar female distance runners, Beavercreek's Taylor Ewert continues to reign supreme as the best of the best.

We projected Ewert's potential in the 1600 based on her 10:18 2 Mile from the UK High School Invitational in Friday's preview article. Based on her ability in the 2 Mile, Ewert should be able to, at maximal effort, run in the 4:40-4:42 range. 

Of course, on Saturday, that would not be necessary, as the senior was able to cruise to the victory in the 1600 meter run in 4:52.02. She was a comfortable 7 seconds ahead of Toledo Notre Dame's Lauryn Mick as the duo were the only two girls under 5:00. 

In the 3200, Ewert would once again run for the win, grabbing her eighth career individual state championship (all three seasons). Her 10:34.79 was 8 seconds ahead of Granville's Reilly Zink

Ewert used those two marks to grab the state lead in both events (she already led with converted imperial results), while moving into eighth in the country in the 1600 and fifteenth in the 3200. She is currently entered in the Championship 2 Mile and 1 Mile Racewalk at New Balance Nationals Indoor


Rodney Heath Scores Huge 60 Meter Victory

It was a big day for Lakota East's Rodney Heath Saturday. The senior dropped .09 seconds off his previous best to post an OH No. 1 6.77 for the win in the 60 meter dash.

After finishing 11th in 2019, Heath was able to make the highest jump of anyone in the field and out-lean Norton's Tyler Scott for the win. 

Heath is now tied for US No. 9 in the event and will head to the New Balance Indoor National meet in hopes of parlaying this late-season charge into All-American hardware.

Heath also finished fourth in the 200 with a 21.95 personal best. 


Henry Zimmerman Throws US No. 3 Weight Mark

While the runners tore up the SPIRE Institute track, New Albany's Henry Zimmerman was busy absolutely heaving the weight throw. 

On Saturday, Zimmerman threw a Division 1 Record 78 feet, 1.5 inch mark. While he was able to eclipse the state meet record, he was a mere foot shorter than the overall and facility record set way back in 2010. 

Nonetheless, Zimmerman's nearly 4 foot personal best stands head and shoulders above any other performance in Division 1 state meet history. He is also now the third best competitor in the country with his emphatic victory Saturday. Not only was it impressive, but it was dominant: he finished 10 feet ahead of the next closest thrower.

Zimmerman is making the trek to New Balance Nationals Indoor in hopes that his first career indoor state title will help him improve on his 8th place finish in 2019. 


Serena Clarks Pulls In Two OH No.1's In 60/200 Double

We made a bold prediction on Friday that Lakota East's Serena Clark would break under 7.40 and into the top 5 in the country. 

While that proved to be false, we were not wrong in assuming that Clark was going to impress in the short sprints Saturday.

The senior from Liberty Township brought home golds in both the 60 meter dash and 200 meter dash Saturday, the third and fourth individual state championships of her stellar career. 

Her 7.47 personal best in the 60 meter dash would pad her statewide lead in the event while bumping her into a tie for 11th among performers in the country. She comfortably cruised to the win ahead of Mentor's Paige Floriea (7.61).

In the 200, Clark would once again pad her statewide lead and make a leap up to the national ranks to number 21. Her 24.31 was still a few ticks off her indoor personal best of 24.09, but Clark is trending the right way heading into outdoor track season. 

WATCH: Girls 60m Dash Finals

WATCH: Girls 200m Dash Heat 3


Carina Napoleon Cruises To Victory In The 800

With the departure of her sister Gia, it has been up to Thomas Worthington junior Carina Napoleon to take up the mantle and continue the family's dominance in the half mile.

During the 2020 indoor season, Carina has done just that.

On Saturday, she put a cherry on top of her stellar season with her individual victory in the 800 in 2:11.90. This was just over a second slower than her US No. 11 mark of 2:10.59, but would earn her her first career individual state title. It was also her third mark under 2:12 in three tries this indoor season.

After posting a 2:10s during the 2019 indoor and outdoor campaigns, it would not be surprising to see her finally break through and challenge her sister's personal best of 2:07.47 this spring.

Carina also anchored the runner-up 4x800 relay (9:20.73) and contributed a leg on the 10th place 4x400 relay. 


Hilliard Davidson Runs US No. 4 4x800, Princeton US No. 8 4x200

Ohio has been consistently one of the deepest states in the distance events over the years and their recent national level success in the 4x800 is one of the major indicators of that fact.

On Saturday, the ladies from Hilliard Davidson secured a state championship in the 4x800, combining to run 9:11.17, a 2:17.76 average. 

The performance ranks the ladies fourth in the entire country. 

The team of Riley Ries, Sophia Hoersten, Caitlyn Jones, Lindsay Stull was anchored by Stull who's run 2:09 (outdoor) in her career and ran 2:16.42 in the open 800 on Saturday.

The nine second victory was decisive for the squad over perennially competitive teams Thomas Worthington, Gahanna Lincoln, and Beavercreek, among others.

Speaking of US top 10 marks, the Princeton ladies put together a performance of their own in the 4x200 relay. The team of Madison Jenkins, Darian Braddix, Shazia Brown, Shavaz Brown put together a 1:41.08, US No. 8 mark. 

Their time involves a 25.27 average split and is a clear OH No. 1. 

Led by OH No. 8 Darian Braddix, who ran a personal best 25.26 in the open 200 Saturday, the Princeton ladies were able to hold off challenges from Gahanna Lincoln, and Westerville Central, while avoiding succumbing to an interference from similarly stellar squad in Lakota East

WATCH: Girls 4x800 Relay

WATCH: Girls 4x200 Relay Heat 3