In order to be the best, you have to beat the best.
And on Saturday afternoon, a great deal of the Scioto County standouts that make up the track units within the county did just that once again as Portsmouth’s Lynsey Shipley, Wheelersburg’s Ellie Ruby, Minford’s Breydan Tilley, and the Northwest, Portsmouth, Wheelersburg, and Minford track programs impressed in a big way during regional competition over the course of the week in the Division II, Region 7 and Division III, Region 11 Meets that were held at Muskingum University (Zanesville) and Fairfield Union High School (Lancaster), respectively.
Division II, Region 7 Meet — Muskingum University, Zanesville, Ohio
From the outset, Northwest wasted no time making the meet a fruitful one as the 4-by-800 relay unit of Billy Crabtree, Harald Rundquist, Josh Shope, and Landen Smith clicked off a time of 8:18.44 to serve as the lone Division II unit that qualified for state as a group with their fourth-place showing.
However, as fruitful as the days of the Northwest 4-by-800 meter relay unit were, it was the Portsmouth boys track program that arguably put together the best performance of anybody in the Division II realm. The Trojans, who scored a dozen points to tie Miami Trace and OVC rival Gallia Academy for 18th-place overall, got off to an excellent start in its own right as Eugene Johnson finished fifth with a time of 51.54 in the 400 meter dash to place on the podium, while Aiden Kammler added in a fifth-place finish of his own in the 3200 meter run (10:02.24) to do the same.
Wheelersburg, like Northwest, got a strong effort from one of its relay units as the quartet of Mack Dyer, Hunter Ruby, Makya Matthews, and Dominic Reyes used a 1:31.77 overall mark to place fifth overall in the 4-by-200 meter relay and make the podium, as well Reyes also added in a podium-finishing mark as an individual by notching a 23.18 mark in the 200 meter dash en route to finishing sixth overall.
In addition to the aforementioned individuals, Northwest’s Haidyn Wamsley (fifth, high jump, five feet, three inches; eighth, 100 meter hurdles, 18.01), Portsmouth’s Talyn Parker (seventh, 100 meter dash, 11.46), Smith and Shope (seventh and eighth, 1600 meter run, 4:35.93 and 4:36.08), Portsmouth’s 4-by-100 relay unit of Parker, Eugene Johnson, Stefan Johnson, and Brian Carey-Knipp (seventh, 44.55), and Northwest’s Abby Baer (eighth, discus throw, 105 feet, eight inches) all finished on the podium in their final runs/throws of the year in the events listed above.
Division III, Region 11 Meet — Fairfield Union High School, Lancaster, Ohio
In the Division III, Region 11 realm, Ruby, Shipley, and Tilley continued to show why the trio will be feared in their respective races and jumps at state as the trio each won one race apiece in regional competition. Shipley won the 400 meter dash by putting together a mark of 57.18 — nearly a second and a half faster than her next-closest competitor — while Ruby set a new Division III, Region 11 standard by jumping 18 feet, four-and-a-quarter inches in the long jump. Tilley, meanwhile, put together a meet-winning mark of 14.74 in the 110 meter hurdles, which bested his next-closest finisher by more than a half-a-second.
Additionally, the trio each added at least two top-four finishes onto their dominating performances as Ruby finished second to Alysse Wade in the 100 meter hurdles (14.14 to 14.35), and also finished second to Olivia Carpenter in the 300 meter hurdles (44.55 to 45.39), while Tilley finished second in the high jump (six feet, three inches) and added a fourth in the 300 meter hurdles (40.53).
Shipley, meanwhile, added three second-place finishes by finishing second to Wade in the 100 meter dash (12.44 to 12.25) and the 200 meter dash (25.24 to 25.62) while also adding in a 17-foot, three-inch jump to finish just behind Ruby in the long jump. Incredibly, Shipley’s 34 points accounted for her entire team’s output as the Lady Trojans ultimately finished in a tie for fourth place in the overall standings thanks to the Northern Kentucky signee, who will be competing in four events at the state level this year while Ruby and Tilley will participate in three events each.
Behind the main trio, the Wheelersburg girls set a blistering pace as the entire team, behind Ruby’s 26-point outing, ultimately obtained 54 points to finish as the regional runner-ups. The 4-by-100 relay unit of Gabby Deacon, Lauren Jolly, Lani Irwin, and Libby Miller nabbed a mark of 50.96 to win said event, and Deacon and Irwin combined with Ruby and Alyssa Dingus to obtain a fourth place finish for the 4-by-800 unit (4:09.05) to qualify in that realm, as well. Paige Emmett’s second place finish in the shot put (38 feet, 10-and-a-half inches) and fourth place mark in the discus throw (113 feet, seven inches) rounded out another outstanding performance from Paul Boll’s crew and the overall state qualifiers.
In addition to the state qualifying hands, the work of Minford’s 4-by-400 meter relay unit of Eldridge, Matthew Harris, Casper Rasmussen, and Michael Henry (eighth, 8:42.09), along with Eldridge’s showing in the 800 meter run (sixth, 2:03.79), Harris’ performance in the 1600 meter run (seventh, 4:41.88), Tilley’s long jump outing (eighth, 20 feet, two inches) and the strong showing that South Webster’s Josiah Edwards had in the discus throw (seventh, 137 feet, eight inches) rounded out the podium finishers for Scioto County.
The Division II and Division III OHSAA Track and Field State Championships will run from Friday, June 1 to Saturday, June 2 and will run all day. Both meets will start at 9:30 a.m. on both days.