SOUTH WEBSTER — On a surefire summer-esque Saturday afternoon at South Webster High School, basically the only thing that soared higher than the heat and humidity in Jeep Country was the Minford Falcons.
That’s because the Falcons, with some passages by “Luke”, found the finish line first — or if not first then second — in multiple events, as Minford made the short trek and took home the boys high school championship of the annual South Webster Invitational track and field meet.
Minford muscled its way for 124 points, and amassed most of its markers on Saturday via the way many teams did —strength in numbers and ability of its underclassmen.
The Falcons were 33 points better than runner-up South Webster, which edged out Green by a single point (91-90) in the team standings.
River Valley (80) was four better than Oak Hill (76) for fourth — as Eastern (65) was sixth, Notre Dame (36) seventh and New Boston (27) eighth.
The fastest Falcon, who also cleared the highest hurdles and with the longest leaps, was junior standout Luke Rader —an all-Ohioan and third-place performer in the long jump just six weeks ago at the Ohio Track and Cross Country Coaches Association indoor state meet.
But with the heat turned up, and outdoors this time, Rader recorded three individual championships — highlighted by the 110m high hurdles in one tenth of a second shy of an even 16 tics.
He was also the runner-up to South Webster senior Brady Boggs (43.95 seconds) in the 300m hurdles, as Boggs was Rader’s runner-up in the 110m highs.
But right after running, and winning, the high hurdles —Rader returned a few minutes later, and sprinted 11.63 seconds to capture the 100m dash.
In between and around that short sprint and hurdles events, Rader jumped in the long jump —and was the only competitor to soar farther than the 18-feet and one-half inch of his junior teammate, Minford’s Luke Oakes.
Rader racked a leap of 20-feet and 10-and-a-half inches, as the Falcons’ finishes between Rader and Oakes of either championship or runner-up ensured most of their points.
Oakes, in addition, was also Rader’s runner-up in the 100m dash at 11.79.
Minford then completed its sweep of the jumping events —as fellow junior Blake Hammond cleared five feet and six inches, and won the 10 first-place points thanks to the fewest misses tiebreaker.
Boggs was South Webster’s only event winner —while River Valley and Oak Hill had their ways with the distance events and relay races.
For River Valley, the Raiders won the 4x400m —while senior Cody Wooten won the mile (1,600m).
Oak Hill had the first-event triumph in the 4x800m, while Walker Fowble in the two-mile (3,200m), Reagan Michael in the 800m and Caleb Chambers in the 400m made it a 3-for-4 day in dominating distance runs.
The Green Bobcats actually won five events —including a sweep of the sprint relays and throwing games, and senior Lethan Poe posting a 24.96-second showing in the 200m dash.
Poe also ran the anchor leg of the Bobcats’ victorious 4x200m relay quartet, which also included Andy Runyon, Derek Salyers and Devlin Maynard.
Later on in the 4x100m, Runyon ran the opening leg, Salyers and Maynard made up the final two, and Landan Lodwick replaced Poe and occupied the Bobcats’ second baton-bearer.
Green turned in a one-lap winning time of 49.16, as only the host Jeeps’ depth keep the young Bobcats from overtaking them for that runner-up behind Minford.
Two Bobcats —Brett Chaney at 38-feet and three inches and Brice Chaney at 36-feet and five-and-a-half inches —made up a 1-2 winning shot put punch, while Isaiah Runyon’s recorded top throw of 123 feet captured the discus.
On the girls side, the River Valley Raiders ran away with the team title —thanks to their superiority in the hurdles and especially those distance events.
Senior standout Lauren Twyman took titles home individually in the 1,600m and 800m, and anchored the meet-opening 4x800m championship.
Becka Cadle, a Raider sophomore, swept the 100m and 300m hurdles races —and ran the second leg for River Valley’s victorious 4x200m relay.
The Raiders ran up 136 points, followed by the seven Southern Ohio Conference clubs competing —Minford (84), Notre Dame (74), Oak Hill (73), South Webster (68), Eastern (66), Green (53) and New Boston (7).
As South Webster’s meet marked majorly underclassmen efforts as opposed to several seniors, consider Scioto County’s ladies from Saturday —including the Lady Falcons’ 4x100m unit of junior Bre Wilson, freshmen Lexi Pendleton and Baylee Hammonds, and sophomore Gracyn Coriell.
That winning foursome’s three-handoff and one-lap time was 56.06 tics.
Green junior Lori Brown won the high jump (5-6), Notre Dame junior Kathrine Ball won the shot put (31 feet), and Minford junior Shelby Rhoden won the discus throw (100-10).
The host Lady Jeeps had a 1-2 freshman finish for the 3,200m run —Kate Mantell (13:53) the champion and Marley Kreischer (14:28) the runner-up.
Oak Hill junior Ivy Gentry swept the sprints and claimed the long jump, while 400 meters marked a double win for Eastern senior Addison Cochenour.
Cochenour, individually, was the champion of the 400m dash —then ran the opening leg while her twin sister Abby Cochenour handled the anchor leg of the Lady Eagles’ winning 4x400m squad.
A complete list of results can be found at www.baumspage.com.
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @paulboggssports © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved