On to regional: Warren boys, girls 4th at D1 district track meet

The Division I regional track meet at Pickerington next Wednesday will be loaded with Warriors and Tigers, as 24 athletes from the two schools placed fourth or better at the district meet Thursday at Don Drumm Stadium.

Warren will be sending 18 athletes to the regional while Marietta will be represented by six.

The royal blue and white teams saw three athletes claim district championships.

For the Lady Warriors, Danielle Church won the 800 meter run (2:30.06) while Raelyn Gardner finished first in the pole vault (11-feet).

Church is a first year runner but did not run like it Thursday evening.

“She’s a junior, first time out,” said Warren girls head coach Sally Maddox. “We just figured out that she could run the 800 and she likes it and is doing a really nice job at it.”

On the boys side, Cole Wigal was a co-district champ in the pole vault with a leap of 13-feet. Marietta’s Will Cogswell was the other vault champion, matching Wigal’s height of 13-feet.

Weather conditions late in the meet presented the vaulters with quite a challenge.

“The wind can do all kinds of things when you’re flying 13-feet in the air,” Cogswell said. “A lot of people, it gets to them psychologically. They feel the wind, it’s different. Me personally, I feel like I do a little bit better when there is a little bit of adversity.”

Cogswell was joined by fellow Tigers Mitchell Grose and Julie Fobes as district winners.

Grose claimed two titles in the 1600 (4:41.99) and 3200 (9:49.25) a week after he was named East Central Ohio League Runner of the Year.

Fobes was victorious in the 1600 (5:25.74) and finished second to Church in the 800 (2:31.68).

“A great mile (1600) run. First time all year she’s been able to run a fresh mile and ran it about five seconds faster,” said Marietta girls head coach Mollie Schramm. “Came back very shortly and got second in the 800 so two really good races out of her.”

Team-wise, both the Warren boys and girls finished fourth, while the Marietta boys and girls finished sixth and seventh, respectively.

Logan ran away with the crown on the boys side, outscoring second place New Philadelphia 160-87. Warren scored 84.5 points while Marietta tallied 65.

Chillicothe’s girls edged Dover by a score of 126-125. The Lady Warriors scored 86.5 compared to 43 for Marietta.

Gardner will be busy at the regional meet as she qualified in three events. Along with winning the vault, Gardner also placed second in the 100 meter hurdles (15.92) and fourth in the 300 meter hurdles (49.33).

“Raelyn did well hitting 11-feet in the pole vault again,” Maddox said. “We’re really pleased with that. Also qualified in the 100 and 300 hurdles, so three events there. She did have a really good day.”

Emma Ryan placed in both throwing events, earning second place in the discus (129-7) and third in the shot put (36-5) to make her fourth straight regional meet. Tri-Valley’s Kaylee Antill won both events.

“The girl from Tri-Valley (Antill) is really strong so she beat (Ryan) there,” Maddox said, “but last year that same thing happened and then Emma came back and beat her at regional. So it’s another day.”

The Warriors had a lot of success in the 3200, as Parker Blain (10:17.19) and Sam Goodman (10:32.17) finished second and third, respectively, for the boys, while Hannah Dugan finished fourth (13:01.14) on the girls side.

Warren also qualified three athletes in the 300 hurdles. Joining Gardner in the event at the regional will be Eli Duff and Mark McDermott. Duff was third (43.14) while McDermott was fourth (43.53) for the Warrior boys.

“Duff and McDermott in the 300 hurdles was a real good race for us,” said Warren boys head coach Al Riffey. “We think they can do some things.”

Duff also qualified in the long jump with a fourth place finish (20-5.75).

Josey Riffle, fourth in the 100 hurdles (16.88), and Blake Staley, third in the discus (138-9) will represent the blue and white in Pickerington as well.

Rounding out the qualifiers for Warren was a pair of 4 by 800 meter relay teams. The girls team of Natalie O’Dell, Sydney Brague, Raeli Barnes and Marlee Stollar and the boys team of Blain, Goodman, Austin Antil and Aaron Mazurkiewicz timed in at 10:37.09 and 8:37.96, respectively, to each finish third.

“The guys that qualified went out and did what they had to do,” Riffey said. “We were glad to get Cole (Wigal) through the vault. His hip has been bothering him. It was kind of hit or miss if we were gonna get him through there. We were happy about the 4 by 8 team. That was about where we thought it was.”

For the orange and black, Erica Dawson was second in the 300 hurdles (48.80) while Quinton Coffield was the runner-up in the 200 meter dash (23.48).

Earlier in the day, Coffield just missed qualifying in the 100 with a fifth place finish. Visibly upset, Coffield came back determined and finished strong in the 200.

“He’s the type of kid, everyday, that you don’t have to get on him about working out, you don’t have to get on him about anything,” said Marietta boys head coach B.J. Mayer. “He comes, warms up, works out. I could tell him to run 15 400s and he would do it. That’s what makes it special, kids like that.”

Caleb Hall finished fourth in the pole vault (13-feet) to round out Marietta’s qualifiers.

With a Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium appearance on the line, all athletes will have to again place fourth or better at the regional meet to qualify for the state meet.