Getting up to speed: Young ‘Cats win Northmont Invite

Springfield's Jonathon Richardson won the 110-meter hurdles at the Jack Lintz Invitational Saturday at Northmont High School. Greg Billing/CONTRIBUTED
Springfield's Jonathon Richardson won the 110-meter hurdles at the Jack Lintz Invitational Saturday at Northmont High School. Greg Billing/CONTRIBUTED

CLAYTON – Similar to most high school track teams, Springfield boys coach Michael Davis is still figuring out what his Wildcats can do.

His athletes haven’t competed in outdoor track since 2019 because of the COVID-canceled 2020 season. But Davis had to like what he saw at the Jack Lintz Invitational at Northmont High School on Saturday.

The Wildcats boys team won five events to highlight their team championship. Springfield scored 114 points to edge Northmont’s 96.

“We’ll see in about five weeks,” Davis said of the Wildcats’ potential. “We’re just trying to see what everybody can do after being out a year for COVID. We don’t know where everybody is at.”

He knew where to find Jonathon Richardson – on top of the podium. The junior won the 110-meter hurdles in 15.33 and the long jump in 20-feet, 4-inches.

“I don’t think I was expecting to get first place in the hurdles because there was someone else that was up there with me,” Richardson said of Princeton junior Joe Mitchell, who finished second in 16.06. “I guess I was just focused in today.”

Senior Cameron Elliott won the 400 dash in 51.90 with junior Brown Charlse second in 52.64.

Junior Jokell Brown won the shot put with a throw of 53-7 and junior Tywan January was third with 49-3¼.

The Wildcats’ 400 relay team also won, while the 800 relay team finished second.

“We’ve got a lot of guys who are sophomores, so this is actually their first year running track,” Davis said. “I call it a freshman team even though we’ve got a lot of sophomores. … I think we can do pretty well. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

The Springfield girls finished fourth overall with 53.2 points, finishing behind champion Centerville (93), Princeton (89) and Northmont (75).

The Wildcats were led by the 800 relay team’s second-place finish and freshman Michaela Stroder’s third in the long jump at 15-6.

In other boys highlights, senior Kendall Dolby finished second in the 100 dash in 11.67 and sophomore Anthony Brown was third in 11.68.

Junior TeSean Smoot finished third in the long jump at 19-4½. Junior Devin Stamper took third in the high jump at 5-9 and junior Delian Bradley was fourth in the 300 hurdles in 44.72.

The Wildcats have a strong sprint and field event tradition. This year’s group plans to keep it going. For Richardson, that means using what he learned from statequalifier and 2019 graduate Austin Tyree.

Tyree, the Wildcats’ record holder in the 300 hurdles, competes for Miami University.

“He helped me a lot in hurdles last year,” Richardson said. “That’s basically who I look after. I still communicate with him in the hurdles.

“Previous years we’ve had good classes. These classes coming up we’re trying hard to be just like them. We’re working hard and we’re ready to go to state.”

In Other News