- By Marc Pendleton Staff Writer
Dunbar won its fifth straight boys high school indoor track and field team championship last weekend and this time the Wolverines were joined by Wayne’s boys as a team champion.
Dunbar, boosted by multiple winner Jalani Allen, blitzed the combined Divisions II-III field by amassing 64 points in the new indoor facility at Spire Academy in Geneva.
Wayne bunched enough top five placers to overcome a magnificent effort by Centerville junior Yariel Soto and edge the runner-up and rival Elks 42-39 and win the boys D-I team title.
It was the seventh time in the last eight years Dunbar has won a boys state indoor team title. Dunbar also is the defending D-II boys outdoor champion.
“The kids who keep coming year after year, they have a passion and a love and a dedication for track and field,” Dunbar coach Sidney Booker said. “They dedicate themselves and they make a commitment. The loyalty and respect they continue to bring, that’s why we continue to do well.”
Allen, a senior, was first in the 60-meter hurdles (8.21) and 200 (22.34). He also was part of the winning 4x200 relay (1:30.86) with Durron Harris, Jerry Averette and Zmir Youngblood.
Allen also was second in the 60. He recently signed with Malone University in Canton to play football and run track.
“He’s coming into his own and that’s usually what happens at Dunbar,” Booker said. “The kids who were minor-league talent become major league. We call them Big Dawgs in the house. As they stay in the program they just keep getting better and better.”
Dunbar also won without key senior sprinters Joseph Scates and Tavion Thomas, both of whom are basketball starters.
Dunbar ran away with the title 64-27 over runner-up Heath. Other area firsts for the combined Divisions II-III boys were Thurgood Marshall senior Jaylen Zachery in the 400 (49.55), Carlisle senior D.J. Chambers in the 60 (6.94) and Ponitz junior triple jumper Mykal Comminey (42 feet, 2.75 inches).
Dunbar’s boys will run in the New Balance Nationals Indoor meet at The Armory in New York this weekend. The following weekend Dunbar has been chosen to participate in the Bob Hayes Invite at Jacksonville, Fla.
The Dunbar girls were fourth in the Divisions II-III field and Chaminade Julienne eighth.
Wayne’s boys didn’t have any winners, but had seconds from Justin Harris in the 60 hurdles (7.97) and Joel Crain in the weight throw (70-2). Dylan Beaird also was third in the weight throw (62-9) for the Warriors.
Centerville was boosted by Soto. Among the nation’s most successful age-group decathletes, Soto won the D-I 400 (49.25) and the pole vault (15-9). He also was fourth in the long jump (22-10.75). Elks senior Colin Jasin added a third in the pole vault (15-3).
Area runners were particularly impressive in the boys D-I 400, sweeping the top five places. Following Soto were Beavercreek’s Sam Pearl (49.42), Carroll’s Sam Janson (49.51), Northmont’s Xavier Marable (49.61) and JaShawn Young of Trotwood-Madison (49.73).
Other D-I boys winners were Trotwood’s 4x400 relay (3:22.72) and Butler’s Daiton Sharp in the shot put (45-3.75).
Area girls won three D-I individual events. Beavercreek’s Taylor Ewert was first in the 3,200 (10:40.38); Riley Hunt of Greenville won the pole vault (12-6); and Wayne’s Taylor Robertson was first in the triple jump (36-7.25).
The boys and girls outdoor preseason began on Monday. Competition starts on Saturday, March 24.