PDT Sports Editor
COLUMBUS — The top track and field athletes in Ohio descended on Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Friday for the Track and Field Championships with 17 area athletes taking part in the showcase.
The area’s top performers included Waverly’s Dylan Dyke, who continues to elevate his effort as the competition improves. The junior recorded a shot put distance of 60 feet and 11.5 inches Friday morning against Division II foes which was easily the best of the final throws.
As a sophomore Dyke finished second in the Shot Put. He will go for the top honor in discus at 9 a.m. today.
Wheelersburg’s Sadie Ruby, who competed in three events Friday, qualified for today’s Division III 300-Meter Hurdles Final with a time of 47.14 seconds. Her finish was good for fourth in the No. 1 heat and was the eighth-best overall time.
Ruby will run for the top spot on the podium at 10:40 a.m. today.
Valley’s Matt Hodge had a 40.32 finish time in the boys Division III 300-Meter Hurdles. It was the fourth-best time in the first heat and was the sixth-best time overall.
The result qualfied him for today’s final in the event but Hodge said he could have done better.
“I was prepared and looking forward to it a lot but I think I can do better. Right now it’s good enough just to be here,” Hodge said. “I don’t feel very good about my time. My start was good but I stumbled coming over the second hurdle. It wasn’t really a bad time for what I expected but I wanted to do better.”
Hodge will get his chance at 2:10 p.m. today when he competes against the eight other remaining hurdlers.
Portsmouth’s Zaide Whitley, fresh off his school-record regional 400-Meter Dash time of 49.69, ran in the first heat of that event Friday and had a finish of 50.31 seconds. The time pushed Whitley to today’s Division II 400-Meter Dash final.
The senior sprinter said he didn’t feel as loose as he was at the regionals.
“It definitely didn’t feel as good as the record race last week, but the weather is a little chillier and I just tried to stay with the top guys out there,” Whitley said. “I think I ran a decent race.”
No matter the outcome, the Trojan record-breaker felt very positively about competing against the best in the state.
“It’s special, very special. I made it here my sophomore year but to be honest, I didn’t believe in myself,” Whitley said. “But this year my whole mentality was to believe and not be cocky but have confidence. Today I looked around and believed I was as good as anybody here but regardless of the results I had a better year than last year.”
Whitley will race against the best of the Division II 400-Meter Dash at 2:05 p.m. today.
Valley had two other athletes competing Friday in Carrie and McKenzie Coriell. Carrie went against the best Discus throwers in Division III and of her three throws, the longest was 117 feet. The distance was good for the ninth-best overall throw.
McKenzie recorded a long jump distance of 15 feet, 7 inches, which was good for 14th in Division III.
Wheelersburg had athletes in two other events Friday. Paige White, Ruby, Cassidy Rase and Erica Schmidt finished 12th in the Division III girls 4x200-Meter Relay. Ruby also ran in the 100-Meter Hurdles.
Minford’s Courtney Sexton ran in the Division III Girls 100-Meter Dash and finished 11th with a time of 13.19 seconds.
The Piketon 4x800-Meter Relay team of Kane Dixon, Seth Farmer, Austin Buchanan and Josh Cornett ran Friday but finished 15th out of 16 teams with a time of 8:28.05.
Despite qualifying, East’s Cody Belveal did not run in the Division III boys 100-Meter Dash.
Bob Strickley may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 203, or email@example.com.