The high school state track and field meets are Friday and Saturday at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Here’s five things to know about Springfield-area competitors:
Best bets: Kenton Ridge senior Jamari McDavid trumps Springfield juniors Dyier Smith and Quincy Scott, but only because she’s a top candidate in three events.
McDavid will be seeking gold in the Division II 100 and 200 meters and her specialty, the long jump. She’s placed in seven state events in the previous three seasons, including a long jump win as a freshman. She was runner-up in the long jump the last two seasons and enters as the No. 1 seed as a senior (18 feet, 8.75 inches).
A notorious slow starter, that will be key if she is to contend in the sprints. “I just want to focus on my block starts,” she said during the D-II regional at Piqua. “That’s the main thing that helps me.”
Smith (110 high hurdles) and Scott (long jump) haven’t had a letdown all season and have experience to lean on; both won their specialties in the indoor state championships at Akron. It will likely take a sub-14 second effort to win the D-I highs. Smith has a PR of 14.44. Scott is one of three jumpers who have soared past 23 feet.
Springfield High hasn’t had a track state champ since sophomore Josh Bass unloaded a 23-2.50 to win the D-I long jump in 2009.
Cruise control: Cedarville has senior Devin Gruet (49.98) and sophomore Brandon Pollock (51.08) in the D-III 400. No one has gone extraordinary low, meaning Gruet should have a shot at gold.
No surprise, Cedarville also is a contender in the 4x200 (1:31.82) and 4x400 (3:35.66) relays.
High flyer: McDavid isn’t the only Cougar who can soar. Kenton Ridge senior Cal Phillips is the No. 2 seed in the boys D-II long jump (22-7.75).
In the long run: As always, weather - cool is best - will be key for the distance standouts. That includes Catholic Central freshman Addie Engel, a rare start participant in three sports as a freshman (cross country, swimming and track). She should be among the D-III 1,600 and 3,200 leaders and if not, there’s always the next three seasons.
Fun fact: Andrew Pierce of Yellow Springs owns the all-time best boys D-III 400 with a 47.36 he blasted in 1997.
Springfield: Quincy Scott, LJ; Dyier Smith, 110H.
Kenton Ridge: Carson Jones, 400; Cal Phillips, LJ.
Northwestern: Landon Burns, HJ; Justin Prack, 1600; Adam Riedinger, DT, SP.
Spg. Shawnee: Robie Glass, HJ.
Cedarville: Nick Christman, 4x200R, 4x400R; Devin Gruet, 4x200R, 400, 4x400R; Brandon Pollock, 4x200R, 400, 4x400R; Seth Salisbury, 4x400R; Wesley Williams, 4x200R.
West Liberty-Salem: Raiph LeVan, 400.
Yellow Springs: James Browning, HJ.
Greeneview: Ocean Morris, 800.
Kenton Ridge: Jamari McDavid, 100, 200, LJ.
Spg. Shawnee: Miah Desantis, 4x800R; Grace Holmes, 4x800R 1600; Rebecca Penrose, 4x800R; Olivia Warax, 4x800R.
Catholic Central: Addie Engel, 1600, 3200.