Warren boys track and field ties for best finish in program history

JORDAN HOLLAND, The Marietta Times Warren's Justin Lough, left, and Ethan Yost, right, exchange the baton in the Division II 4x400 relay during the OHSAA state track meet Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

COLUMBUS — All season long, the Warren boys track team dominated its competition in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Through district and regional, the Warriors stayed dominant but went into the state meet with something to prove. Warren finished with 35 points as a team Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium to place third overall and crowned six All-Ohioans in six events over two days.

“I never would’ve thought in my track career we’d have, one, this many people at state, and two, we’d all be finishing as high as we are,” said Warren junior Justin Lough. “It’s been amazing competing so dominantly around our area but also to know we’re not just ‘MOV’ good. We’re ‘state-of-Ohio’ good.”

Lough was all-state in the 300 hurdles and the 4×400. He placed fourth in the 300 after finishing fifth last season. He clocked in at 38.49, with the top three hurdlers notching sub-38 second times.

“It was a really tough race,” Lough said. “Two of the boys (ahead of me) are juniors, are my age, so I’ve got them next year to deal with. That’s exciting to know I’ll have to fight for it next year.

“I’m pretty content. Obviously I really wanted to win and I wanted 37 (seconds), but I’m content with lowering my personal record and scoring higher at state this year.”

Warren sent two runners to the podium in the 1600. Senior Trent Sayre was the runner-up while classmate Jake Herriott placed seventh.

“It’s better than third place from last year,” joked Sayre, who crossed the finish line in 4 minutes, 17.58 seconds behind Shelby’s Caleb Brown.

“Caleb deserves it. He’s a tough kid. He’s worked for everything he’s got. I went out a little hard that last 500 and he had more than me.”

Herriott, who won the regional title in the 1600, timed in at 4:22.88 to earn All-Ohio honors for the first time as an individual.

“I’m happy,” he said. “It was a very tactical race. There was a pack at the front and I kind of got behind it. But I’ll take All-Ohio. That’s what you work for. It feels amazing.”

Herriott and Sayre, who refer to each other as brothers, hugged after crossing the finish line.

“He was out for almost two seasons a couple years ago,” Sayre said of Herriott. “For him to come back the next year and miss state by two places, then to see him here with me this year is amazing. For him to get All-Ohio with me and to share that moment, I crossed the line and turned around and he’s right on my tail. Couldn’t have experienced anything better. One of the best moments of my running career.”

Next up was Ethan Yost in the 800. Yost, an All-Ohioan in the 400 last year, got back to Columbus in the 800 this year and showed off his versatility. The Warren junior placed third with a time of 1:54.04.

Yost also joined Lough, Sayre and senior Isaiah Kitts on the 4×4 team which concluded the D2 portion of the meet with a third-place finish. The foursome finished in 3:21.35 to add six points to the Warriors’ total and cement their spot in third as a team.

Yost, Sayre, Herriott and Preston Rowland-Demster finished second in the 4×800 on Friday to round out Warren’s point total.

Winning the state D2 state team title was Shelby with 57 points. Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy came in second with 42 points. Warren held off Dunbar (33 points) for third.

It was Warren’s best placement at state as a team since 2008. The ’08 squad also finished third.

“It was awesome year,” said Warren boys coach Tyler Schaad. “When you’re the third best team in Ohio, that’s something to be proud of.”