Jamari McDavid doubles as a shooting star. That’s fitting for someone who jumps as high and far as the Kenton Ridge freshman.
“I tried to jump to the stars,” she said, giggling while trying to explain what inspired her at Saturday’s state track and field meet. “Really, that’s what I tried to do.”
She didn’t quite make it. But her best long jump of 18 feet, 5.75 inches was enough to win the Division II event at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
McDavid joined the West Liberty-Salem boys 4x400-meter relay as the only area event winners in the season-ending, two-day meet.
McDavid also placed sixth in the 100 (12.64) to cap an astonishing effort for such a young athlete. If unknown prior to the season’s start, she isn’t now. She’ll be seeking to be a rare four-time event winner at state.
And she’s clutch. McDavid nailed an 18-3 winner on her next-to-last jump and surpassed that on her final leap.
“This means a lot,” said McDavid, who overcame an opening foul to unload a series of long jumps. “I really wanted this. It’s just crazy.”
- West Liberty-Salem senior Conner Karg was second in the D-III 400 (48.90). He topped that by anchoring the 4x400 relay (3:19.53). Kam Evans passed a couple of runners on his third leg, but Karg still had two more runners to burn, which he did down the home stretch.
“I love the pressure,” Karg said. “I thrive off of it. That’s when I run my best. It’s an important role to play and I love being able to pull through for my teammates and help them out the best way I can.”
Also running on the relay were Kelvin Shank and Taylor Cordell.
Cordell failed to advance to the 110 high hurdles final. But he was comforted knowing Karg was in place for a winning relay lap.
“We knew when Conner got that anchor, he would make up that ground,” he said.
- Springfield senior Caleb Lloyd placed eighth in the D-I 300 hurdles (39.51) and ninth in the highs (15.12).
As Lloyd desperately tried to make up ground, a high hurdle in his lane was knocked down by another runner. No foul was called and Lloyd lost his momentum in that race. “That’s what messed me up,” he said.
There was no such miscue in the 300s. “I don’t know what happened,” he said.
He’ll likely continue to run in college, although he hasn’t chosen where. Despite the flame out, he represented the Wildcats track program at the highest level.
“It’s a big thing,” he said. “I’ll get my name on the wall at school. Hopefully, I inspired some of the younger runners at Springfield. I can pass the torch on to them.”
- Catholic Central junior Ragen Engel was 12th in the D-III 800 (2:21.79) and Mechanicsburg senior Rachael House was 15th was 15h in the D-III 1,600 (5:33.91).
Saturday’s racing drew 14,504 spectators. Two-day total attendance was 27,068.