TROY — Preble County will be well represented at the Ohio High School School Athletic Association’s Boys and Girls State Track and Field Tournament this week as six individuals in eight events and three relay teams qualified, including four regional champions.
The Division III regional tournament was held at Troy High School on Wednesday, May 24 and Friday, May 26.
Twin Valley South advanced three individuals and three relay teams to lead the way and the boys team finished as regional runner-up with 48 points. Fort Loramie was the regional champion with 74 points. Tri-County North placed 14th with 13 points and National Trail was 41st with two points.
For the girls, Twin Valley South was fourth with 39 points. Minster and Anna were regional champion and runner-up with 85 and 50 points respectively. Tri-County North was 16th with 16 points and Preble Shawnee was 30th with five points.
Twin Valley South Junior Mylan Crews was a double regional champion, winning the 100- and 200-meter dashes. She was also part of the Panthers 4×100 relay which finished fourth to advance.
Crews ran a 12.47 to win the 100 and a 25.84 to win the 200. In the 4×100 relay, she joined sophomores Madison Johnson and Sidney Mowell and junior Grace Stewart to run a 50.65 for the final qualifying spot.
South senior Troy Bowers won the regional title in the 200 and placed second in the 100. In the 200, he posted a time of 22.64 to best Qua’monte Richards of Cincinnati Purcell Marian, who ran a 22.76. In the 100, he ran an 11.22, but was edged out by Calvin Wilson of Spencerville, who ran an 11.21.
South’s Payton Gates cleared 6 feet, 3 inches to win the high jump and the Panthers fourth individual regional title. The senior nearly moved on in a second event, placing fifth in the long jump with a leap of 19-10 ¾.
Twin Valley South’s boys 4×800 team of Sammy Shockey, Jacob Wells, Chris Keener and Matt Hemmelgarn advanced to state with a second place finish in 8:16.38, behind Fort Loramie (8:01.76).
The Panthers’ boys 4×400 relay team of Keener, Wells, Hemmelgarn and Shockey took third in 3:29 to move on.
Preble Shawnee senior Elise Walker earned her third trip to state in the high jump clearing a personal best 5-4 to place fourth.
Tri-County North’s Hailey Thies placed in three events. She advanced to state in the 100 hurdles with a second place finish in 15.17 seconds. The junior also just missed advancing in both the high jump (5-3) and long jump (16-11 3/4). She placed fifth in each of those events.
Tri-County North senior Drake Coleman advanced in the 300 hurdles with a third place finish in 40.99. He just missed being a qualifier in two events as he finished fifth in the 110 hurdles.
Twin Valley South’s girls 4×800 relay team may have suffered the biggest heartbreak of the regionals. The Panthers overcame a big deficit only to fall .04 short of advancing with a fifth place finish. The team of seniors Madison Wright, Megan Wright, Abby Creech and freshman Zoe Utsinger ran a 9:47.96, but was edged out by Russia, who ran a 9:47.92.
South’s girls 4×200 team of Abby Beneke, Stewart, Mowell and Crews was sixth with a time of 1:51.83.
South’s Wright sisters wrapped up outstanding careers as Madison placed sixth in the 1,600 with a time of 5:26.08 and Megan finished her career with a 10th place finish in 5:38.78.
Stewart placed seventh in the 400 with a time of 1:02.
Creech also placed in the high jump, clearing 5-0 to finish seventh.
Shockey was seventh in the 800 with a time of 2:00.42.
Tri-County North senior Brett Booso cleared 12-0 and finished sixth in the pole vault.
National Trail senior Tyler Glander earned seventh in the shot put with a toss of 46 ½.
The state meet will take place Friday and Saturday, June 2-3, at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
Division III track events will begin at 9:30 a.m., with the finals of the girls 4×800 relay. All other running events will be run as semifinals. The finals of the boys high jump is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. The girls high jump is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Finals for track events will begin at 9:30 a.m., Saturday.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH