Cedarville boys run away with title at Division III district meet

CLAYTON – Jonathan Allen couldn’t help but smile after crossing the finish line on Saturday.

It could be because Allen just set a personal record in the 300-meter hurdles to win the Division III district title at Northmont High School. It could also be because he didn’t have to run the hurdles again until next week’s regional meet.

“I hate it. It’s terrible,” Allen said of the exhausting sprint around the track while attempting to clear eight hurdles. “The worst race you can run but I’m good at it.”

Allen won the 300 hurdles in 41.71 seconds to beat Middletown Christian’s Silas Crawford (43.36) and Cedarville teammate Ben Kinsinger (43.63). Kinsinger, who mobbed Allen in celebration after the win, appeared happier for Allen’s PR than he did his own victory in the 110 hurdles in 15.84.

“John and I have been best friends forever,” Kinsinger said. “John has pushed me in the 110s before and I try to push him the best I can in the 300s. I owe so much to John and my previous track mate Trey Gruet as well. … I’m so happy for him. I love that kid. He’s amazing.”

The hurdles victories were two of the Indians’ nine individual event titles Saturday. The Indians won another event on Thursday. Cedarville ran away with the team title with 139 points. Tri-Village was runner-up with 74.

Senior Ethan Wallis won the 1,600 run (4:33.97) and the 3,200 run (10:16.41). At the Ohio Heritage Conference meet on May 13, Wallis established a new school record in the mile at 4:28. That broke Micah Harding’s 4:31 set in the early 2000s.

Senior Daniel Ormsbee won the pole vault (12-0), senior Trent Koning won the 400 dash (50.72) and sophomore Caleb Sultan the 800 (2:01.48).

The 800 relay team of sophomore Matt Paris, senior Payton Herron, Kinsinger and Mason won in 1:34.64. The 1,600 relay of Allen, Sultan, Mason and Koning won in 3:32.79.

On Thursday, Herron, Wallis, Koning and Sultan won the 3,200 title.

As for Allen, he accepts that he excels at the 300 hurdles. He just doesn’t have to like it.

“I wasn’t even going to run this year,” Allen said of battling a case of senioritis. “My coach said if you want to come with us and grab some titles this is the year to do it. Here I am.

“I never come in expecting to win. I just say God give me strength and help me not to get hurt. If I finish the race it’s a win.”

Cedarville’s girls finished second to Dayton Christian 141-81. The Indians’ girls claimed individual titles in the 3,200 relay with senior Sammi Bigham and Elly Coe and sophomores Aleena Cook and Rachel Tarwater (10:25.62). Coe also won the 1,600 run (5:30.71).

The top four finishers in each event advanced to next week’s regional championships. The D-I meet, held at Wayne High School, starts Wednesday with preliminary track events and select field event finals. The top eight in each event advance to the finals on Friday. The D-II meet at Piqua High School runs Thursday and Saturday. The D-III meet at Troy High School runs Wednesday and Friday.

Kinsinger plans on making a run at qualifying for state at the regional meet. Should he advance, though, he won’t be able to attend. He has a commitment to work as a camp counselor at Kidder Creek, a Christian summer adventure and ranch camp in California.

“It’s very disappointing but ultimately give the glory to God,” Kinsinger said.

In other record-setting performances from district meets:

* Catholic Central junior Mallory Mullen went a district record 5-6 to win the D-III title at Northmont. Mullen topped her own record of 5-5½ in 2019.

* West Liberty-Salem’s 3,200 relay team set a meet record in 9:27.12 at the D-III district in Piqua. Versailles held the mark since 2009 with 9:31.86. West Liberty-Salem’s girls won the team title with 144 points. Anna finished second with 116½.

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