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Shawnee juniors gear up for 4x800 relay

Advancing past an ultra-competitive Division II regional track and field meet was reason enough to celebrate for the Shawnee High School boys 4x800-meter relay.

Now, the Braves hope to break open a promising layaway package in this week’s season-ending state high school track and field meet.

The two-day event for Divisions I, II and III is Friday and Saturday at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. The field events will be split between the two days. The 4x800 relays are Friday’s only running finals.

All of Friday’s other running events are semifinals, with the top nine advancing to Saturday’s finals. The 800, 1600 and 3200 will be run as finals only on Saturday.

Will Holmes anchored the Braves to a state-qualifying fourth place in the 4x800 relay in last week’s D-II regional at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium (8:11.62). Only the top four teams in each event advanced.

Joining him on the relay were Drew Hickman, Seth Brouhard and Jordan Penrose.

The Braves’ foursome ranks 14th of 16 state qualifying relay teams, which means Shawnee must up its stock to place. But the best is probably yet to come. All the Braves’ runners are juniors and all could return to state next season in the same event.

The relay will be the Braves’ only state representative. Holmes also was seventh in the regional 1,600 (4:33.51) and Penrose ninth in the 3,200 (10:13.90).

  • The Kenton Ridge boys 4x400 relay suffered the cruelest fate at regional, placing fifth (3:27.20). The Cougars foursome of seniors Levi Dimichele and Gabe Rastatter and juniors Joseph Lacey and Derek Desentz were out-leaned by 0.28 of a second by Cincinnati Shroder for the final state-qualifying spot in that event.

All four Kenton Ridge runners consoled each other on the infield after realizing how close they missed a shot at state.

  • Cassandra Lloyd was the last Springfield South state track champion, winning the 100 hurdles in 2008 before the school consolidated with North that fall. Her brother Caleb Lloyd is hoping to add to the family accomplishments.

Caleb has the 10th-best qualifying time (14.59) of 16 state qualifiers in the 110 high hurdles. Only the top eight semifinalists move on to the finals. To do that, he’ll have to blaze a trail in the dreaded lane 8.

He’s at the other extreme in the 300 hurdles. Ranking 15th out of 16 qualifiers (39.01), he drew lane 1 in his semi.

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