Following the cancellation of the 2020 OHSAA State Championships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Ohio will crown state champions for the first time in two years on Friday, June 4th.
As announced earlier this year, the meet will be held at three Central Ohio high schools in place of Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, which has been the host site since 2004. The Division I state meet will be hosted by Hilliard Darby, the Division II state meet will be hosted by Pickerington North and the Division III state meet will be hosted by Westerville North.
Through a loaded field, featuring the top track and field athletes in Division I, we have identified six boys and four girls that you should keep an eye on this weekend.
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In his final high school meet of the season in the Buckeye state, Braun enters as the favorite in the 100m, 200m, and 400m dash events and will have a chance to continue to cement his legacy as one of the most accomplished track and field athletes in Ohio prep history.
Braun will be be searching for his second outdoor state championship (the first being a 400m title in 2019). Unquestionably the junior from Westerville Central has blazed an incredible trail in the sport, which includes myriad individual and team accolades.
Last week, Braun won the three sprint events at the regional meet in Pickerington and is set up to finish the job at Hilliard Darby and take on the state's best one more time.
The St. Xavier senior enters Friday's state championship on a tear clocking historic times in the two distance events. Mountain will face plenty of competition for the two distance crowns, but with his 4:05.54 and 8:52.15 marks, Mountain is the favorite to win each event.
Mountain is coming off an exciting winter where he won the OATCCC Division 1 Indoor Finale and that success has translated to the outdoor track, as well. Pulling off the double is something that has eluded many of Ohio's most accomplished distance runners in the past and it will be a tall task for Mountain to pull of, but if anybody in Division I can do it on Friday, it is Mountain.
Rimac has been one of the most dominant athletes in the Buckeye state in 2021, winning 23 of his 24 appearances in the shot put and discus this season. Rimac enters as the favorite to win the two events in his first appearance in the OHSAA State Championship meet.
Along with his two victories this past weekend in the regional meet, Rimac also won the weight throw competition at the Division 1 Indoor Finale and nothing would cap off Rimac's remarkable season than two wins in the two throwing competitions on Friday and Saturday.
This past winter Martino captured the 400m victory at the Division 1 Indoor Finale and took a runner-up finish at the adidas Indoor National meet. While facing elite competition at Hilliard Darby, he should find himself in striking distance for a pair of state titles this weekend.
Martino enters Friday's competition with the fastest wind legal 200m and second fastest 400m in Division 1. He finished second in the 200m and fourth in the 400m at the Pickerington regional last week. However, the Penn State commit has shown resilience in the past and should be one of the most exciting athletes competing at the state championship meet over the next two days.
The battles between Nathan Moore and Nathan Mountain over the last year have been nothing short of spectacular and the final chapter will come to an end this weekend at the 2021 state championship meet. In the fall, Moore was able to come away victorious with a win in the cross country state title meet, but Mountain returned the favor this winter, winning the D1 Indoor Finale 3200m title. On Saturday, Moore and Mountain are set to do battle one more time in the 3200m with an outdoor track state championship on the line.
Entering the race, Mountain brings a quicker personal best and Moore ranks fourth in Division 1, but considering Moore will be focusing just on the one race this weekend, it's safe to say he will be fresh and ready to drop an incredibly quick time.
Another top sprinter in Division I, McElroy has become a household name this year and looks to cap off his stellar senior season with a state championship. McElroy will race in the 100m, 200m, and 400m dash events this weekend and will be a threat to win in each one. In his first ever appearance at the state meet, McElroy will get three chances to close his career with his first outdoor state title against the best sprinters the Buckeye state has to offer.
Another one of Ohio's most talented and decorated athletes, Floriea will compete in her final high school events in the Buckeye state before heading off to Chapel Hill to compete for the University of North Carolina in the fall.
A four event standout, Floriea enters Friday's meet with a very real possibility of winning a state title in four events - the 100m, 200m, 400m, and long jump. At the Austintown Fitch regional, Floriea won the 100m, 200m, and long jump, and placed second in the 400m to Cardinals teammate Emma Potter.
Undefeated in the long jump with eleven victories, Floriea's best event (arguably) is the long jump, but she stands an excellent chance to walk away Friday with multiple state championships and adding to her 39 victories this track season.
Having been dominant in the 800m and 1600m mid-distance events this season, Monesmith enters Friday's competition undefeated on the season with an unblemished record in those two events.
Monesmith posts impressive marks in each event, running a 2:10.52 in the 800m and 4:53.11 in the 1600m, both of which are the top marks in Division 1 this season. Monesmith will be tasked with one of the most difficult doubles in the sport on Friday and will be challenged by some of the state's best, but is sure to be an exciting athlete to watch.
Entering Friday's state championship meet, Bentley enters with 22 wins in 23 appearances in the 100m and 300m hurdle events, with her lone loss coming in the 100m prelim at last week's Pickerington North regional, where advancement to the finals was the key objective and what she easily accomplished.
Winner of this winter's 60m hurdle event at the Division 1 Indoor Finale, Bentley's season has been nothing short of spectacular and she will have a chance to wrap up her season in dominating fashion this Friday and cement her legacy as she's only a sophomore.
Coming off two victories at the Amherst-Steele regional in the discus and shot put, Radcliffe enters Friday's state championship as the favorite in both events. Radcliffe, who is the top ranked athlete in Division 1 in both events, is also undefeated in the discus so far this season.
Radcliffe finished 10th in both events at the 2019 state championship meet and will look to improve on those finishes this year, capping off an impressive career.