(Dunbar's Dai'Vontay Young, won the 60m Dash in 6.91 at University of Findlay Dave's Running High School Series #1 last weekend)The 2022/2023 Indoor Track and Field Season has finally arrived.
While distance runners flourished during the cross-country season with thousands of amazing performances in beautiful weather, the sprinters, jumpers, and throwers who trained throughout the fall have waited in the periphery for their time, and that time is now.
The Northwest, and I say this lightly as athletes from nearly every corner of the state showed up, had two meets on the opening weekend with the University of Findlay Dave's Running High School Series #1 and DC High School Kick-Off Classic.
For the boys, let's open with the sprint side of things, with, in my opinion, the top performer being Dai'Vontay Young (Dunbar 2024), with his 60m Dash victory in 6.91 and a 3rd place finish in the 60m Hurdles with 8.89, which were back-to-back finals. To top it off, the field had depth as well, consisting of teams like Gahanna Lincoln, Wayne, Perkins, and Liberty Benton. Especially this early in the season, I'm not truly sure you can find a more prestigious list of programs than what Mr. Young faced in this short time span. Moving up to longer sprints, Evan Hudson ('24 Oberlin) returns after qualifying to the OHSAA D3 Outdoor Championships during his sophomore year in the 400m Dash. Hudson won both the 200 and 400 at Findlay going 23.40 and 52.06, both impressive performances to open the year with on a flat 200m track.
The small schools of Northwest Ohio were present as well among the nomads from other regions as Maddox Treece (Wayne Trace 2024), arguably the biggest name to watch in Division III this season for the triple crown in sprints, opened up the indoor campaign at Findlay going 7.27 in the 60m Dash and 23.56 in the 200m Dash. Regardless of the less resources available for the smaller schools, they can still put up a showing against the big dogs.
Moving onto distance events, there were some notable names and programs jumping back into the season with both feet. At Defiance College, Lanny Oakman (Spencerville 2023) opened up his track season with a 10:38.66 in the 3200m Run, a full minute ahead of the closest competitor. In the 1600m Run over at Findlay, Jimmy Mooney (Chagrin Falls 2023) won with a 4:50 performance with some help from Zach Mcwatters (Pettisville 2023), who finished in 4:55.
Team side of things on the relays, despite it being early in the season, Dunbar put on a showing at Findlay with a 1:36.5 in the 4x200m Relay to open up the season.
Off the track, boys' field events had a real strong weekend in terms of depth. Two cleared 6' in their first appearance (Evan Kreais (Hopewell-Loudon 2024) and Key'Shawn Garrett (Wayne 2026)). Triple-Jump saw Destined Ard (Wayne 2024) standing out going 41-07.5, winning by over a 3 feet margin. The depth stood out to me when five athletes opened the season above 12-6 in the vault including Ethan Ireland (Centerville 2026).
What really solidified the weekend on the boys' side was the throws. Tyler Thompson (Rittman 2023) opened up with a 56-foot bomb in shot put and was joined by Ryan Johnson (Springboro 2023), who went 70-03 in the weight throw. The performances from these seniors both rank as MileSplit Gold standard performances, signifying their place among the best in the country this early in the season.