National track meet qualifiers head to Dayton | News, Sports, Jobs

Sydney Starcher of Warren competes in the long jump during a high school track and field meet earlier this season in Vincent. (Photo by Aaron Lee)

DAYTON — Due to renovations to the track at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, this year’s state track and field meet will be held at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium.

Washington and Noble counties will be represented at this year’s competition, and several local athletes are in position for a spot on the podium.

Caldwell’s Gwyn Lori and Shenandoah’s Braxton Barnett will both have a good chance at winning Division III state titles.

Lori won the regional shot put title with a throw of 46 feet, 10 inches.

That marks her first place heading into the state meet, nearly four inches ahead of second-place Brooklynn McIntire of Rootstown (42-11).

Warren’s Eric Carr, second from left, runs in the 100-meter dash during a high school track meet earlier this season in Vincent. (Photo by Aaron Lee)

As a sophomore at last year’s state meet, Lori threw 38-0.75 to finish 10th.

She also qualified for state in the discus. She won the regional at 141-6, which placed her second behind Dixie’s Sierra Brinson (147-4). Last year, Brinson was the state runner-up while Lori was 11th at 115-5.

The junior Redskin will look to redeem himself after missing the podium in both events a season ago. She will compete in both events on Thursday, with the shot put at 3 p.m. and the discus at 6 p.m. East’s Emma Hayes will also compete in the discus, seeded 17th with a record of 120-2.

Barnett figures to have a very different experience at the state meet compared to last year as a freshman. In 2023, Barnett competed in the 300 hurdles and finished eighth (40.40) to find a spot on the podium. This year, he has a chance to win the event as he is ranked first with a regional time of 37.92. Lowellville’s Michael Ballone (38.28) was seeded second and had the only regional time within a second of Barnett.

And it’s just one of four events Barnett will be competing in the state. The Zeps sophomore was third in the 110 hurdles (14.58), fourth in the high jump (6-4) and eighth in the long jump (21-7.75). He has the opportunity to earn All-Ohio honors in four different events. It will begin Thursday with the long jump at 3 p.m. then the high jump at 6 p.m. The 110 prelims are scheduled for 4:40 p.m. while the 300 prelims are at 6:45 p.m. If Barnett advances to Friday’s final in both hurdle events, he will compete in the 110 at 6:30 p.m. and the 300 at 7:30 p.m.

The Shenandoah girls team will be represented by Mya Leach in the 200 and Isa Estadt in the 3200. Leach will also be joined by Mackenzie Williamson, Brenna Leach and Rachel Haga in the 4×1.

Estadt is ranked 11th in the two-mile race (11:21.69), which is scheduled for Friday at 8 p.m. Mya Leach comes in 16th in the 200 (26.46). Preliminaries are scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m.

The 4×1 team ran a time of 50.73 at the regional championships, which placed them 15th. They will participate in the preliminaries at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Belpre senior Blake Rodgers, a regular at state track meets, will compete on the big stage for the final time Friday night. He is scheduled to run the 3200 around 8 p.m. Rodgers is expected to finish second in this event for the second year in a row.

The Wright State signee has seen considerable progression throughout his high school career. As a freshman, Rodgers ran with teammate and future state champion Eli Fullerton in the two miles. He finished 11th with a time of 10 minutes 10.64 seconds. Rodgers took a big leap forward as a sophomore, lowering his time by more than 44 seconds and placing fifth in 9:26.06. Last year, Rodgers placed second with a time of 9:26.22.

At this year’s regional meet in Heath, Rodgers finished second in the 3,200 with a time of 9:25.81. He was beaten only by Whiteoak junior Landen Eyre (9:24.20). Eyre and Rodgers had the top two times heading into the state meet.

Fort Frye junior Kyndal Buchanan returns to the state meet in the pole vault. Buchanan qualified for state as a freshman, finishing 17th at 9-6. After missing a return to state as a sophomore, Buchanan jumped 10-8 at the regional meet to finish fourth and earn his spot. She is ranked 12th and will compete Thursday at 3 p.m. She will face Federal Hocking’s Annamarie Montle, the second seed at 12-1. Montle is a returning All-Ohioan after placing eighth in the D2 pole vault for Athens last year.

Caldwell junior Ethan Crock, who is seeded 10th in the discus at 148-6, will also compete at 3 p.m. Thursday.

In Division II, Warren will take three individuals and a relay team to state.

On the girls’ side, high jumper Sydney Starcher and pole vaulter Amanda Rauch will both compete at 9 a.m. Friday.

Starcher went 5-3 to place at the regional meet in New Concord. The Warren sophomore is a returning All-Ohioan after placing fifth in the high jump last season with a 5-2 record. Starcher is one of five girls in this event to go 5-3 at regionals. There are eight girls in this event who scored 5-4 or higher, so it should be very competitive.

Rauch was regional runner-up with a 10-8 mark. The junior is seeded ninth heading into state.

Friday morning, Eric Carr will also compete in the boys’ long jump. Carr jumped 20 to 11.25 at regionals and is ranked 16th in the state field.

The Warren boys will also be represented by the 4×8 team consisting of Tave Earley, Kyle Anthony, Spencer Rehl and Tyler Frye. The quartet won the regional title with a time of 8:04.02. They are ranked 10th in the state field and will report Friday at 9:15 a.m.

Elsewhere in D2, senior Adam Cooper will represent the Morgan Raiders at the state meet. Cooper placed fourth in the 300 hurdles at the regional championships, with a time of 40.60. He is seeded 18th.

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