Wildcats’ Lloyd warming up for big finish


Caleb Lloyd hopes he has something extra special remaining in his tank.

“I want to go out with a big bang,” he said during Wednesday’s Division I regional track and field meet at Welcome Stadium.

He’s on his way. The Springfield speedster posted the fastest 300-meters qualifying time for Friday’s finals (38.15) and also was third in qualifying in the 110 high hurdles (14.51).

He’ll join senior teammate and high jumper Derick Yarbrough and a few other area distance runners in Friday’s finals. The top four in each regional event advance to the season-ending state meet at Columbus the following week.

Lloyd was masterful in the high hurdles, the opening running qualifier. And he was even better in the 300 hurdles. He led the later race by five meters until fading over the last hurdle and coasting to the finish.

“I don’t know where this came from, honestly,” he said after posting the top time and earning the coveted lane 4 in the 300 hurdles.

“I told myself I had to get out strong. Hopefully, I did. Other than that, I just willed my way through it.”

So did the Cedarville boys 4x800 relay and Madison Gantz of West Liberty-Salem.

The Cedarville relay of Hudson Grant, Brant Wickline, Tim Stevenson and Zach Bowen was third in the D-III regional at Troy (8:13.68). West Lib’s Madison Gantz was forth in the shot put (35 feet, 3.50 inches). Both advance to the state meet.

Springfield couldn’t come up with finals qualifiers in the 4x100 or 4x200 boys relays. Still, the Wildcats have made strides on being a Greater Western Ohio Conference Central Division contender in coming seasons.

“It just goes back to practice; you practice perfect, you run perfect,” said out-going senior sprinter Brad Maiolo, who’ll continue his football and track careers at Wittenberg University. “Everybody has off days.”

Lloyd still has not committed to run track in college. Among the programs that he’s talked to are Youngstown State, Grand Valley (Mich.) State and Witt.

Besides hoping to tap into a couple more great races, he sees an encouraging future for Springfield track.

“We have a lot of young kids coming up, now,” he said. “We’ve got some hurdlers and sprinters. It’s looking good.”


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