LANCASTER, Ohio — Seven area athletes are headed to Jesse Owens Stadium next weekend after qualifying for state Friday night at the Division III Southeast Regional Track and Field Championships held at Fairfield Union High School in Fairfield County.
Eastern qualified six competitors in six events, while Southern had one athlete qualify in a pair of events. Of the seven Meigs County competitors, five will be making their first-ever trip to the oval at Ohio State University.
The two state returnees are EHS senior Tyler Cline and SHS junior Kody Wolfe, both of whom are headed back to Jesse Owens Stadium in the same events as last year.
Wolfe finished fourth overall in the 3200m run with a time of 9:55.09, allowing the junior to qualify in this event for a second straight year. Wolfe also placed third in the 1600m run with a mark of 4:29.03, allowing Wolfe to qualify for two state competitions for the first time in his career.
Wolfe missed out in his other two events, which included a 12th place finish in the 800m dash (2:04.34). The quartet of Wolfe, Justin Hettinger, Andrew Ginther and Tristen Wolfe also placed 10th in the 4x800m relay event Wednesday with a mark of 8:48.27.
For a second straight year, Cline is headed to state in the discus event after finishing second overall with a heave of 157 feet, 1 inch. Cline just missed out in the shot put after placing fifth with a throw of 49 feet, 9 inches.
The Eagles placed 20th overall out of 44 scoring teams with 12 points, while the Tornadoes were one mark behind in 21st position with 11 points. Gahanna Columbus Academy won the D-3 boys title with 113 team points, finishing well ahead of runner-up Attica Seneca East (47).
On the girls side of things, the Lady Eagles placed sixth overall out of 36 scoring teams with 28 points. Mount Gilead won the D-3 girls title with 56 points, finishing 10 markers ahead of runner-up Columbus Academy (46).
Eastern had three different relay squads qualify for state in the 4x200, 4x400 and 4x800. The 4x200m team of Jenna Burdette, Keri Lawrence, Savannah Hawley and Maddie Rigsby finished third with a time of 1:50.92, while Burdette, Hawley, Rigsby and Taylor Palmer advanced in the 4x400m relay after placing fourth with a mark of 4:10.04.
The 4x800m quartet of Palmer, Rigsby, Lawrence and Hawley also finished fourth and moved on to state with a mark of 9:53.08. Burdette qualified in the long jump event after finishing third with a leap of 15 feet, 2.25 inches, and Rigsby was third in the high jump with a cleared height of five feet even.
Michael placed ninth in the 3200m run with a time of 12:56.74 and Lawrence was 10th overall in the 300m hurdles with a mark of 50.38 seconds.
Southern junior Jennifer McCoy finished 13th overall in the 1600m run with a time of 6:13.30. The Lady Tornadoes did not score a point at the regional level and had nobody advance to state.
Complete results of the 2012 Southeast Regional Track and Field Championships are available on the web at baumspage.com