RICHMOND DALE — Valley’s Justin Moore, in his own words, muscled his way to a Division III state shot put podium performance last year.
But this season, it’s more for form for Moore — and this time, he’s going back to the coveted state meet as a regional champion.
That’s because the six-foot four-inch junior Moore captured the Division III Region 11 boys shot put championship on Friday at Southeastern High School—heaving a school-record throw of 58 feet and three full inches in the process.
That’s correct, as Moore —the eighth-place and all-Ohioan at last season’s state meet —makes it back, as his 58-feet and three-inch throw not only squashed the school’s previous record by two full feet and two inches, but it put him atop the awards platform the regional.
Moore’s mashing toss to smash the previous Valley mark came on his final of three throws for Friday’s preliminaries —as the top nine prelim throws of the 16 regional qualifiers automatically advance to the finals.
Moore’s mark held up as easily the top prelim throw, as each finalist then received three finals heaves —and the best of each competitors’ six throws is the one which is officially scored.
His second-best throw, which went for 56 feet and eight and one-half inches, would have also set the new school record —as Moore made it clear that his shot put performance has never been better.
“Last year I didn’t have any form. It was kind of just muscle it out there, and get it as far as possible. This year, there is a lot more technique and it feels a lot better and smoother. And it’s not as hard on my body as it was last year. Last year, I just threw all upper body and all strength, which is not how you are supposed to throw,” said Moore. “It’s just a lot better this year, and I’m more confident in my shot.”
Moore’s other regional throws all exceeded 51 feet and four and one-half inches, including a pair of at least 53 and two.
He discussed what’s different for form with this postseason push —as compared to say his April and even early-May meets.
Just the throw’s feel, Moore said, secured the school record.
“It all came together. My coach (Rusty) has helped me the past three weeks with slowing it down, get out of the back and then explode at the front. I did that on the 58-3 throw and it felt amazing. I knew right there and then that I broke the school record, just based on how it felt,” he explained. “I knew I could break the school record at the beginning of the year. It took some time and some critiquing on my form to get it done.”
Also getting it done for the Valley boys was 6-4 senior Bryce Stuart, who tied for runner-up in the high jump — by clearing six feet and one inch.
Although his personal-record jump is 6-3, it’s all about performing on that day —and Stuart secured his ticket to the state meet by tying Bucyrus’ Randy Banks.
Stuart was making his second consecutive regional high-jump appearance, and on an improved weather day from late May of a year ago.
“I’m super-excited to be going to state this year. Especially after last year, when I didn’t do as well as I had hoped. I feel like I performed pretty well today, but I know I can do a lot better and keep going. The goal every time is to PR (personal record) and keep it simple, just like every other week,” said Stuart. “The state meet is something that I’ve always wanted to be a part of and compete with everybody.”
The top four placers in each event at the regional meet move on to the state meet —as Stuart, Banks, and Waterford senior Holden Dailey join regional champion Anthony Bell of Carey.
The senior set the Southeastern standard by clearing exactly six feet and four inches.
Moore and Stuart combined for 17 Valley team points, as South Webster senior Brody Boggs was eighth in the 110m high hurdles (16.99 seconds).
Moore’s Indians’ throwing teammate, Lakota Davis, advanced to the nine-man finals for the boys discus —as his best throw was three inches shy of an even 139 feet.
On the girls side, South Webster freshman Marley Kreischer placed sixth in the 1,600m run —and earned three points for the Lady Jeeps.
Right behind her was Eastern senior Abby Cochenour, as Kreischer’s five minutes and 44 seconds and Cochenour’s five minutes and 47 seconds scored three and two team points respectively.
Friday’s fourth-place time, for the one-mile run, was at 5:19 for the gals.
Kreischer also qualified for the regional in the 800m and 3,200m runs —but did not place in the 800m, and did not participate in the 3,200m.
Notre Dame junior Kathrine Ball, in the shot put, threw 32 feet and five inches for one single point and eighth.
Ball was one of several individuals to take his or her picture with Moore —who proudly stood by the shot put distance board, his 58-3 boldly on display.
Moore said practice, and putting work in, enabled Friday’s throws.
“I’ve definitely earned this. I was at practice every single day and didn’t miss a day. And I was there every day for at least an hour and 30 minutes just throwing as many as I could get in. Just working on my form and trying to get it out there farther. This is definitely by far the best I’ve ever thrown, in practice or in a meet,” he said. “My goal is to go back and do well at the state.”
A complete list of results from the Division III Region 11 track and field meet can be found at www.oh.milesplit.com.
Division II Region 7
CHILLICOTHE — Scioto County also enjoyed having a regional champion in the Division II Region 7 meet at Chillicothe’s Herrnstein Field —as Portsmouth senior Dariyonne Bryant took home the boys high jump championship.
On the meet’s second day, and on sunnier Saturday than what day one was on Thursday with the competition suspended due to torrential rainfall, Bryant beat the other 15 regional qualifiers —being one of three jumpers to clear exactly six feet and one inch.
The others were Kyle Maltach of West Holmes and Lucas Ray of Zane Trace, but Bryant bested them both —based on the fewest misses tiebreaker.
This will be Bryant’s first state meet — as his PHS sophomore season, like Stuart of Valley, was canceled because of the coronavirus threat.
Bryant became the third high jumper from a Scioto County club, and the second in Division II in two days, to qualify for the state meet —which returns this season to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
Stuart did so for the Division III boys on Friday, and Northwest senior lady Ava Jenkins jumped a personal-record 5-2 to advance to the state from Thursday (see www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com and Saturday’s May 28 print edition of The Portsmouth Daily Times for that report).
By Bryant winning the high jump, the Trojans tallied 10 points —part of 23 as an entire team.
Bryant was also a member of the Trojans’ 4x200m relay quartet —which finished fifth in Saturday’s timed finals in 1:32.77.
He was the squad’s only senior, and was joined on that foursome by sophomore Devin Lattimore and juniors Nolan Heiland and Beau Hammond.
Cambridge (1:32.08) claimed that fourth-place spot and subsequent state berth, by a mere —even razor-thin —69 one-hundredths of a second.
Those Trojans tallied five team points, as sophomore Charles Putnam placed fifth in two events —his specialties of the 1,600m (4:25) and 3,200m (9:52) runs.
However, Putnam will run at the state meet in the mile (1,600m) —thanks to his at-large qualification from that event, one of two statewide to be selected.
The other is Nick Garcia-Whitko of Gates Mills Hawken, as Whitko with a 4:24 and Putnam with a 4:25 had the two fastest times —outside of the four automatic top placers per regional.
The fourth-place time at Chillicothe was just two seconds ahead of Putnam — Bobby Palmer of Garaway in 4:23.
Had Putnam qualified for the two-mile, he would have needed to run at least 22 seconds faster.
Putnam posted eight Trojan team points, as senior Dante Hamrick had one with the 100m dash.
For the girls, and in another field event, Wheelersburg senior Karley Kouns qualified for the state in the discus throw.
She finished third with a best toss of six of 110 feet and one inch, making it back-to-back state meets for the Lady Pirates in the disc.
Justus Steward represented Wheelersburg in this same event last season, as Kouns’ trip will be her first and only —as her sophomore season too was canceled.
Kouns scored six Lady Pirate team points, while her fellow senior discus thrower and teammate Nalah Kirkendall (eighth place) had one.
Like the shot put, the discus features six total throws —three preliminary and then three more for finalists.
Speaking of shot, Wheelersburg junior Joden Blackburn was seventh for the boys.
A complete list of results from the Division II Region 7 track and field meet can be found at www.oh.milesplit.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