WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — Simply put, the Northwest Mohawks definitely ran —and even jumped and threw —their way to a dominating district track and field performance.
That’s because the Mohawk men racked up 122 total points, and enjoyed awards podium picture after awards podium picture prior to finally a team photo — all part of their second consecutive Division II Southeast District boys championship, as the final day of two took place on steamy Saturday at Washington Court House High School.
In addition, the Wheelersburg Lady Pirates almost took home a championship trophy themselves, but ended up as the runner-up to Unioto —when the Shermans overtook the Pirates on the finale 4x400m relay event, in which Wheelersburg was seventh and Unioto second.
The Lady Pirates posted 98 points, but led the Shermans 96-94 entering the meet’s final race.
Unioto’s overtaking gave it 102 total points, as Hillsboro’s boys —with 65 points —made the Indians a distant second-place to the runaway Mohawks.
Indeed, unlike its district championship two years ago when Northwest won in close fashion — the Mohawks scored points left and right and up and down the entire week.
And, even more noteworthy was how many individual events they won.
It started on Tuesday with Day 1 of the meet, when the Mohawks’ 4x800m relay unit set a new Southeast District record —as junior Kailan Marshall and seniors Gabe Morrell, Josh Shope and Landen Smith crossed the finish line in eight minutes and five seconds.
Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, fellow senior Caleb Crabtree qualified for the regional in the discus throw by finishing fourth —as the top four placers in each event at the district meet move on the regional meet.
On Saturday, the Mohawks made their way to the medals stand time and again.
Smith won the 1,600m run in 4:24 and Morrell was fourth, as Shope won the 800m run in 1:58 and Mason Breech was 2nd in 2:05.05.
Caleb Scoggins was the champion in the one-lap 400m dash in 52:56, as the 4x400m relay foursome — of Shope, Morrell, Breech and Smith — pulled off a championship run of 3:34.91.
Northwest was also the runner-up in the sprint relays (4x100m and 4x20m) —as seniors Scoggins, Travis Prose and Brycen Carver and junior Brayden Campbell represented the Mohawks in both events.
Campbell was also third in the long jump, while Jay Jenkins finished fourth in the 300m hurdles.
“A couple of years ago, we scored strong in just a few events. But today and even Tuesday, we were on the podium all day. Everybody knows we’re strongest in our distance events and they are going to shine every time, but we had sprint relays, we had throwers, we had jumpers, it was just an all-around total team performance,” said Northwest boys head coach Dave Frantz. “And that’s what makes it fun. It’s been a fun day, a fun week and a fun season so far.”
The highly-decorated distance star Smith, before he ran a dramatic anchor leg of the 4x400m, was second in the 3,200m.
Frantz praised his senior standout for first stepping up and stepping in —and then going all out.
“That just shows you that Landen has to be the gutsy-est kid around. We actually had him as an alternate in the 4x400m, but one of our guys went down. I went right to him after he crossed the finish line in running a gutsy 3,200m and asked him to not hate me because we needed him now in the 4×400. Landen said ‘if you ask me to, I will. Let’s do it, coach.’ That tells you right there…and then he runs a gutsy lap and pulls out the win,” said the coach.
Other regional qualifiers from Scioto County clubs included Portsmouth senior Chris Duff in two events —second in the high jump and fourth in the long jump.
The Trojans tallied 47 team points to place sixth, as Dante Hamrick was third and Omarian Martin fourth in the 100m dash.
Hamrick then ran the opening leg and Martin the closing of the Trojans’ 4x100m relay quartet, which was third and one place ahead of Wheelersburg’s team — of Ian Fannin, Eric Lattimore, Eli Jones and Casey Doerr.
Doerr, individually, was third in the high jump —while Minford seniors Drew Skaggs was third in the 110m high hurdles and Dutch Byrd fourth in the two-mile run.
On the girls side, leading the Lady Pirates —as usual — was senior Lauren Jolly, who qualified for the regional meet in count ‘em four events.
She was the champion of the 100m hurdles in 15.15 seconds, was second in the 300m hurdles, third in the long jump, and fourth in the 200m dash.
“A great job again by Lauren,” said Wheelersburg girls coach Tom Kaskey. “She had a full plate all year and she just keeps performing and keeps getting better. She beat her PR in the 100m hurdles by sixth-tenths of a second. That’s pretty big in that short of a race.”
But Jolly wasn’t alone, as fellow senior Maddie Gill got out in three events —including as the runner-up in both the high jump and long jump.
Gill also ran the opening leg of the Lady Pirates’ fourth-place 4x200m relay team, which also included Bella Miller, Grace Charles and anchor leg Josie Nchinda.
Wheelersburg went 1-2 in the discus with senior Justus Steward firing a championship throw of 114-feet and 11 inches, while junior Karley Kouns was the runner-up by only three feet and one inch less (111-10).
Kouns was second in the shot put and Steward fifth, as Steward lost on a fourth-place tiebreaker throw — with her and Lilly Barnes of McClain both throwing 32-feet and eight inches.
“It was a great team performance with a lot of PRs (personal records) and higher places than what their seeds said. Our girls over-performed today and competed and fought and I couldn’t be prouder. We knew going in that it was going to be really close between us, Unioto and McClain,” said Kaskey. “The girls are competitive and I love that and a district runner-up in Division II is something to be proud of.”
In addition, Northwest senior standout Haidyn Wamsley was a double winner and almost a triple district champion — as she swept the jumping events and was the runner-up to Jolly in the 100m hurdles.
In fact, her high jump mark broke both the Northwest school record —and the Southeast District record.
She cleared five feet and seven and one-quarter inches, topping her own tally set earlier this year (5-7) by a mere quarter inch.
She then jumped 17-feet and four inches in the long jump, and was joined on the awards podium for both events by junior teammate Ava Jenkins (3rd high jump and 4th long jump).
The Lady Mohawks opened the district meet by qualifying in the 4x800m run —as the team of Reagan Lewis, Kodi Burton, senior Ellie Curtis and Brooke Shope made it out by finishing fourth.
Finally, Minford sophomore Junie Allen was a double qualifier for the regional, including as the 1,600m run champion in 5:27.80.
She was fourth in the 3,200m run.
A complete list of results can be found on www.baumspage.com, as the regional meet at Southeastern begins on Thursday with preliminaries in most running events and finals in six events —including the 4x800m relay.
The other five finals are contested in field events.
Saturday’s finals are the field events which are not held on Thursday, and the other running event finals.
Saturday’s field finals start at 11 a.m., with the running events opening an hour-and-a-half later.
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @BoggsSports © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved