Ohio State Championships Recap

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At this weekends Ohio High School Championships, there was so much action and drama that its hard to do it justice. Thats how state championship meets usually are, and why people like them so much.

So I decided to go through all six meets (boys and girls in three divisions) and, in the style of pro hockey, pick three stars for each. Here you go and if I were to pick one star for all six, one person who sums up what high school track is all about, it would be the first star in the D-III girls meet.

Division I Boys

First Star: Donovan Robertson, Berea
The senior hurdler, who first came to national prominence during the indoor season by breaking the nation 60 meter hurdle record, swept both hurdle races and ran a tremendous anchor leg on the 4400 relay.

Facing a stiff crosswind/headwind (-1.6), he won the 110 hurdles in 13.66, the third-fastest in state meet history (behind only Ted Ginn and Chris Nelloms, and ahead of future world-class stars such as Ryan Wilson).

Watch more video of 2012 OHSAA Ohio Outdoor Track and Field Championships on flotrack.org

That same wind looked to make a run at the 300 hurdle state record an impossibility, but he shattered it with a nation-leading 35.96.

Watch more video of 2012 OHSAA Ohio Outdoor Track and Field Championships on flotrack.org

To finish off the day, he got the baton in the 4400 way back in fifth and brought it home in second with a scintillating 46.2 split.

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Second Star: Tsehaye Hiluf, Reynoldsburg
The senior, the defending champion in the event, took control of the 3200 meter race in the second half and ran to a new division, meet and stadium record of 8:55.04. (The all-time record is held by the great Scott Fry at 8:46.7.) He was shadowed all the way to the bell by Sam Wharton of Tipp City Tippecanoe, who ran 9:01.24, the 4th-best time in state meet history. They managed to do this even with the strong winds.

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Third Star: Jacob Blankenship, Gahanna Lincoln
Its a testament to the strength of this meet that a kid who earlier took a shot at the national record is only the third star—and that a three-event winner who split 1:50.3 on the 4800 relay, Brandon Kidder, doesnt even get a star. Gusty winds messed with the nations top pole vaulter, but he easily broke the (outdoor) state record with a 17 2 clearance. He took three attempts at 17 7, none successful, but the second was pretty close.
(I shot video of that 17 2 clearance, but it hasnt shown up at Flotrack yet.)

Division I Girls

First Star: Destinee Gause, Reynoldsburg
The senior sprinter won the 100, the 200, and ran second leg on the 4100 and anchored the 4400 relay for four gold medals. The 4100 relay broke the state record by a whopping 0.54 seconds with 45.99, seventh-best in the nation (and by far the best from a cold-weather state). The second-place team, Lorain, was ten meters in arrears, and still ran the fourth-fastest in state meet history.

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Her 200 meter win was her fourth in a row in the event. Only five girls have ever won the same event four times in the big-school division; three of the other four are Emily Infeld, Jessica Beard and Angela Bizzari.

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Second Star: 4800 meter relay
Yes, an race earns a star. Just watch and youll know why. Four teams ran 9:08, putting them all in the top ten in state meet history, and the top two were separated by only 0.02 seconds.

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Third Star: Therese Haiss, Solon
The junior ran a smart 1600 meter race to finish strong and nab second, reeling in a fading Anna Boyert in the closing meters. Fifty minutes later she lined up for the 800 meters, and won it in 2:08.00, the second-fastest in state meet history.

Watch more video of 2012 OHSAA Ohio Outdoor Track and Field Championships on flotrack.org

Division II Boys

First Star: Dayton Dunbar
The Wolverines won the title in an unusual way. Despite scoring 49 points, they won only a single event, and it was the one they had to win. Going into the 4400 relay, they were seven points behind Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, and had to get first or second to win the team championship. So they calmly went out and broke their own D-II state meet record with a dominant 3:15.92 win.

Watch more video of 2012 OHSAA Ohio Outdoor Track and Field Championships on flotrack.org

Second Star: Sam Prakel, Versailles
The junior distance runner put together an impressive triple. On Friday, he anchored his 4800 relay to a runner-up finish. On Saturday, he won the 1600 in 4:10.33, one of the fastest in D-II history and the fastest of the days three divisions, and then came back and won the 3200 in equally dominant fashion in 9:16.14.

Watch more video of 2012 OHSAA Ohio Outdoor Track and Field Championships on flotrack.org

Third Star: Lamar Hargrove, Cincinnati North College Hill
The junior sprinter walked away from the meet with two gold medals and a silver medal, winning the 100 and 200 and anchoring the runner-up 4100 relay. The D-II state record holder in the 200 was unable to approach that mark due to strong winds (-2.1), but it may be the best run of his life when that wind is taken into account.

Watch more video of 2012 OHSAA Ohio Outdoor Track and Field Championships on flotrack.org

Division II Girls

First Star: Alyssa McBride, Bryan
McBride broke every Ohio record in the book, regardless of division, with her 13 1 clearance in the pole vault. It puts her #8 in the country. The gusty wind made it a bit difficult for pole vaulters, but not for McBride.

Second Star: Emily Stites, Cincinnati Wyoming
The senior won the 3200 meters in a meet record time of 10:43.32. Who held the old record? Bridget Franek, who is heavily favored to earn a spot on this summers Olympic team in the steeplechase.

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Third Star: Aaliyah Barnes, Columbus Eastmoor
Barnes won an odd triple, taking victories in the 100 and 400 along with anchoring a meet-record-setting 4200 relay.

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Division III Boys

First Star: Cory Glines, Louisville Aquinas
The junior won the 1600 meters in a D-II meet record time of 4:12.93. He towed Cortland Maplewoods Wyatt Hartman under the old record as well.

Watch more video of 2012 OHSAA Ohio Outdoor Track and Field Championships on flotrack.org

Second Star: Chris Strup, Defiance Tinora
Strup won three sprint races, both the 100 and 200 and anchoring the winning 4100 relay.

Watch more video of 2012 OHSAA Ohio Outdoor Track and Field Championships on flotrack.org

Third Stars: Troy Kauffman, Paul Dues, Korey Schultz and Derek Collins, Minster
Minster (population: 2,794) is a tiny town near Dayton, but in reality it isnt near anything but farmland and other small towns. For as small as it is (Division VI in football), the Wildcats high level of achievement in sports is remarkable, as they have won state championships in almost every sport they sponsor. Track and field has a strong tradition, with twelve team titles in the schools history and annually bringing a large contingent of fans to the state meet.

Yet Minster went into the final event of this years state meet without a single win. They faced Gahanna Columbus Academy, who dominated the meet with 64 points and had gone 1-2 in the 800. These four boys fought for each other and for Minster and pulled out the win, assuring that some gold medals would go home with the team.

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Division III Girls

First Star: Meghan Vogel, West Liberty-Salem
The junior distance runner won the 1600 with a nifty sub-5:00 run of 4:58.31. She returned for the 3200 meters, but as is often the case, had no gas left and ran dead last. As she came up the track towards the finish, she saw that Arlingtons Arden McMath had collapsed some 40 yards from the line. So she stopped, picked her up and put McMaths arm around her shoulder, and walked her the last 40 yardsmaking sure that McMath got credit for crossing the line first.

Second Stars: The Horn Family
Sisters Ivy and Meghan Horn were the entire team for Waynesfield-Goshen High School, and managed to score 34 points between them for a runner-up finish in the team standings. They racked up points in the 100, 200, both hurdles, long jump and pole vault. If both the name and the style sound familiar, it should. Theyre the sisters of Gray Horn, Floridas decathlon star.

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Third Star: Crystal Barber, Rittman
Barber won a sprint triple, taking the 100 and 200 and running second leg on the winning 4100 relay.

Watch more video of 2012 OHSAA Ohio Outdoor Track and Field Championships on flotrack.org