Badin boys miss D-II state relay title by a lean

Like his teammates, Sam Krabacher envisioned Badin High School winning a Division II state track and field championship in the 3,200-meter relay.


The Rams had the senior talent, experience and momentum heading into Friday’s opening day of the meet. More important, they had the will.

Running anchor, Krabacher made a move with about 200 meters remaining to overtake the leaders. But with 100 left and running three abreast, he started to list.

“My legs started to get heavier,” he said. “I tried to push it through and out-lean them at the finish, but that was a little tough.”

CAN’T BEAT THAT: Lakota East junior Dustin Horter wins D-I 1,600

Badin placed third in a season-best 7:51.09, but less than a half-second separated the Rams from winner Worthington Christian (7:50.65) and runner-up Lexington (7:51.09). The finish stoked an estimated crowd of 14,000 at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. It took three decimal places to separate Worthington from Badin.

The D-III 3,200 boys relay was also a final Friday, with Cincinnati Christian placing 16th in 8:37.56. About half the D-II and D-III field events were held and all the other running events were semifinals to determine Saturday’s finals.

Joining Krabacher were leadoff Kyle Manuel, Josh Wolpert and Nick Rand. It was the fourth straight state championships the foursome has run in since cross country in 2015.

“We had the experience and confidence coming in,” Rand said. “We knew if we ran well, we could finish top three. When Sam was coming around, we started to believe and we finished well, so we’re really proud.”

Krabacher (1,600 meters), Wolpert (3,200) and Rand (800) also will run in their specialties Saturday.

• A quick learner, Monroe freshman Jenna Hensley stands 5 feet, 10 inches and has been high jumping just this season. She was seeded among the D-II high jump leaders after clearing a best 5-5.25 in the district. Three misses at 5-2 had her thinking about a return trip.

“I don’t know,” she said. “I just didn’t have my best day. I wasn’t nervous … I just didn’t have a good day. I just want to make it back here next year and do a little better than I did this year.”

• The Fairfield boys (42.59) and girls (48.11) both advanced to the finals of the D-I 400 relay. Lakota East (47.57) will join Fairfield’s girls after posting the second-best qualifier. East’s Serena Clark also advanced in the 100 (12.07).

Other finals qualifiers were Lakota West’s Andrew Whitaker in the D-I 300 hurdles (38.66) and Cincinnati Christian in the D-III girls 400 relay (50.99).

• There were no semifinals for the individual distance events. Dustin Horter of East will be among the favorites in the D-I 3,200 and 1,600. It’ll be up to Middletown’s Conant Smith to stay with Horter in the 3,200.

Also running in the D-II 3,200 on Saturday are Monroe’s Alayna Garver and Rachel Ploeger.

All of the D-I field events will be held on Saturday.

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