The Shawnee 4x800 relay placed third in the D-II regional at Piqua's Alexander Stadium on Thursday, May 25, 2017. Members are Rebecca Penrose (left), Olivia Warax, Miah Desantis and Grace Holmes. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Determined Shawnee earns return to D-II state in relay

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Both were on the Braves’ distance relay that qualified to the Division II state track and field meet last year. But that was the highlight, because Shawnee finished last in the event.

“We just want to make the (state) podium,” assured Holmes after anchoring Shawnee to another state repeat during Thursday’s D-II regional at Alexander Stadium. “That’s the goal.”

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The 4x800 relay was the only running final Thursday to go with just a few boys and girls field events. The top four placers in each event advance to next week’s season-ending state meet at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. The top eight semifinals from each running event on Thursday qualify for Saturday’s regional finals.

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To earn a place on the state podium Shawnee would have to place among the top eight teams, or half the state field. The Braves were up to that challenge in a final regional tune-up, placing third behind winner Tippecanoe (9:44.17) and runner-up Defiance.

Also on the Braves’ relay were junior Miah Desantis and freshman Olivia Warax. They celebrated like champions afterward, beckoning for more rain and grateful for a chance to run another race together.

“Considering I’m a senior, running with these girls one more time means the world to me,” said Penrose.

• Kenton Ridge senior sensation Jamari McDavid attempted a daunting sprint triple with the long jump awaiting on Saturday. She posted the second-best 100 (12.29) and 200 (25.90) times in the semifinals but wilted in the 400.

McDavid has been a state meet regular for the Cougars since joining the program as a celebrated AAU youth champion as a freshman. She has placed in seven D-II state events over the last three seasons. Her specialty is the long jump, having won the event as a freshman and placing runner-up the past two seasons.

“It’s something I’ve been doing since I was a little kid in AAU track and it’s something I’ve stuck with,” she said. “I’ve tried other events but I’m not that good at them. I tried the 800 and I was terrible. These are the events that suit me and for what I do.”

Basketball also suits her. She’ll participate in both sports at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.

“Track is my first love, but I love basketball, too,” she said.

Springfield-area participants who advanced to Saturday’s D-II regional finals:

Girls 100: Jamari McDavid, Kenton Ridge, 12.29.

Girls 4x200 relay: Greeneview, 1:49.48.

Girls 200: Jamari McDavid, Kenton Ridge, 25.90.

Girls 4x400 relay: Greeneview, 4:07.27.

Boys 4x400 relay: Greeneview, 3:34.08.

Other Springfield-area girls in Saturday’s D-II finals: Grace Holmes, Shawnee, 1600; Ocean Morris, Greeneview, 800; Rebecca Penrose, Shawnee, 800; OliD-II via Warax, Shawnee, 3200; Jamari McDavid, Kenton Ridge, long jump; Rebecca Penrose, Shawnee, long jump; Jace Mitchem, Shawnee, pole vault.

Other Springfield-area boys in Saturday’s D-II finals: Jaron Stoneburner, Greeneview, shot put; Ethen Bradds, Greeneview, shot put.

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PHOTO GALLERY

Kenton Ridge senior Jamari McDavid is competing in the 100, 200, 400 semifinals during the D-II regional track and field meet at Piqua’s Alexander Stadium on Thursday, May 25, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

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