COLUMBUS — Twin Valley South junior Jayden Bassler tied a career-best mark in the high jump and the Panthers 4×400-meter relay turned in one its best times of the season at the OHSAA Division III state track meet on Friday, June 1 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Bassler cleared 6 feet, 2 inches to finish ninth, but just missed a spot on the podium.
“Considering he was playing baseball for a lot of this year, I think it was a very good accomplishment just to get here,” South coach Richie Faber said. “This is probably the best he’s jumped all year. He looked good at six feet. He looked good at 6-2 and even at 6-4 he had a couple of very good attempts. I really can’t ask much more from a guy who basically jumped half a year of high jump.”
Bassler missed his first attempt at 6-feet, then cleared it on his second attempt. He tied his career-best of 6-2 on his first attempt at that height before bowing out at 6-4.
“You’ve got to be a great athlete just to get to this level,” Faber said. “But to come in and do it with as little work as he’s had. I think that tells you he’s just starting to pick this up and learn. He’s got a good base to build from for next year.”
The relay team of Chris Keener, Kyler Kohl, Brandan Wright and Jacob Wells ran a 3:30.08 and finished 8th in their semifinal run and 15th overall.
“In fairness, last week was a big surprise to me that they did as well as they did (time wise). I would have expected more of a switch on the times from last week to this week,” Faber said.
A week ago the regional the team ran a 3:27.37, which is the second fastest time in school history, according to Faber.
“Today was the second best time they’ve ran this year,” Faber said. “They performed very well. It was a good race. They were just stuck in a tough heat. It was a tough break as far as that goes.”