* Image courtesy of Christian Lisle
Nick Plant was named the 2021-22 Gatorade Ohio Boys Track and Field Player of the Year on Wednesday following the official release of all state-by-state recipients.
The Virginia Tech bound Plant put together a remarkable spring campaign on behalf of the Canfield Cardinals that included his second consecutive Division I state championship over the 800 meter distance.
As has been well documented, Plant overtook the OHSAA all-time record mark previously held by Marc Sylvester at 1:48.93 with his 1:48.65 title winning effort on June 5th at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Admirably, Sylvester was one of Plant's biggest supporters in his pursuit to re-write the 21-year-old record. Plant threatened the mark during his junior year going sub-1:50 on multiple occasions and then produced another close call in this season's district round with a 1:50 point clocking. He left no doubt at the state meet, however, and now owns the standard that half-milers with record breaking aspirations in future years will chase.
Well known for possessing next level closing speed, Plant proceeded to lower his personal best to 1:48.52 en route to a second place finish at the Brooks PR Invitational on June 15th.
His body of work, within individual competition, this past season was anchored by an undefeated in-state schedule, a PR of 4:07.57 over 1 mile and a converted 1600m mark of 4:06.13, which resides at the top of Ohio's overall event leaderboard.
Beyond his array of impressive finishing times and collection of meet titles, Plant continuously displayed true competitiveness, as he went out of his way to test himself against the best. In addition to the elite field he saw at Brooks, Plant went head-to-head with University High's Larry Josh Edwards at the Morgantown Invite and took on Archbishop Wood's Gary Martin at the Penn Relays.