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Repeat success the goal at state for KR frosh

Her multiple tickets secured for this week’s state track and field meet, Jamari McDavid caught her breath to reflect on what it meant to win two regional events.

“It was a relief,” said the emerging Kenton Ridge high school freshman, who swept the 100 meters (12.31) and long jump (17 feet, 6.75 inches) in last weekend’s Division II regional at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium.

“I don’t expect this, but I sure strive for it.”

McDavid will pace a strong contingent of Cougars in the season-ending state meet at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday and Saturday.

McDavid is a legitimate favorite in those two events. Joining her in the 100 is sophomore teammate Iman Salhieh, who also advanced in the 200. Those two Kenton Ridge speedsters will join senior Karrah Batten and Sara Thornton in the 4x100 relay.

That’ll make for a grueling qualifying Friday for Salhieh, who’ll run three semifinal heats in 1 hour, 20 minutes.

Friday’s only running final is the girls and boys 4x800 relay. Most of the other running events will have semifinals, with the best nine advancing to Saturday’s finals. The 800, 1,600 and 3,200 will be run as finals on Saturday.

Friday’s meets begin at 9:30 a.m. Field events begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday. D-III running finals are at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by D-II at 1 p.m. and D-I at 4:30 p.m.

That kind of Kenton Ridge individual strength fares well at this level of the sport. Teams with superior depth are the strongest in the regular season and league meets, but top-level individuals trump those mostly non-qualifying numbers at state.

The Cougars could do no better than tie for fourth as a team in the regional, but were just three points shy of winner Meadowdale. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, Orrville and West Holmes won the state’s other girls D-II regionals and also are title contenders.

McDavid and Salhieh are paired in the same 100 heat, next to each other in lanes 5-6. Only the top two in each heat and the next five best times from the two heats advance to the final.

  • West Liberty-Salem and Cedarville will be well represented in the D-III meet.


WL-Salem has runners in four events, including seniors Conner Karg and Kelvin Shank in the 400. Both broke 50 seconds in the regional final.

Cedarville senior Jonah Young advanced in both hurdles races and will join the Indians’ 4x800 relay of Grant Hudson, Brant Wickline, Tim Stevenson and Zach Bowen at state.

Madison Gantz of WL-Salem also advanced in her specialties, the discus and shot put.

  • Senior Caleb Lloyd of Springfield is the only area D-I hope. He’s part of a three-runner Greater Western Ohio Conference trio in the 300 hurdles, including D.J. Hickman (Northmont) and James Grant (Trotwood-Madison). Lloyd also advanced in the 110 high hurdles.

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