Trackdown: Several Tiger thinclads qualify for regional event

Quinton Coffield has certainly had his share of success on the track this season, but never did he anticipate what would happen Thursday at Don Drumm Stadium in the Division I Southeast District meet.

All Coffield did was qualify in four different events for next week’s regional meet, including finishing second in the 200 meter dash and fourth in the long jump. He was also a leg in Marietta’s 4 by 200 and 4 by 100 meter relay teams that finished second and third, respectively.

“I didn’t think I would be able to (qualify in all four),” Coffield admitted. “I’m really excited that I did.”

Coffield’s teammates Austin Jones and Aaron Elliot qualified for three events apiece. Both joined Coffield in the 4 by 100 and 4 by 200, while Jones finished third in the 100 meter dash and Elliot placed second in the high jump.

Marietta’s boys team also qualified the duo of Caleb Hall and Jack Farrar in the pole vault. Garrett Davis was a leg in the 4 by 200 while Bernard Johnson competed in the 4 by 100 to round out the boys qualifiers.

“This team’s gone the way those kids have gone all year,” said Marietta boys coach B.J. Mayer. “Those kids have really taken pride in themselves. They’re excited.”

For the Lady Tigers, Lizzy Crum stepped up with a personal record of 11-feet in the pole vault to finish third. A week ago, Crum picked up her second ECOL pole vault championship in as many years. It’s been quite a week for the Marietta senior.

“It feels great, honestly,” Crum said.

“I was expecting I might get fifth or fourth, but not third. Especially not 11-foot with how practice has been going.”

Marietta girls coach Mollie Schramm was counting on Crum to advance.

“I told her before the meet ‘I’ve looked at the jumps and you’re in the top four if everything goes as expected,'” Schramm said. “So we anticipated that.”

The girls team did receive a couple of pleasant surprises, though. The 4 by 100 relay team of Embrey Roberts, Abby Robinson, Olivia Linscott and Anna-Claire Myers came out of nowhere to place fourth with a time of 54.52 seconds. The relay team used somewhat of an unorthodox practice method this week in preparation.

“We practiced against the middle school the other day,” Schramm said. “We didn’t want to lose to them and they ran their best ever. It just kind of carried over into this meet.”

Added Robinson, “We had raced against the middle school and beat them so I guess we were all just excited. I had gotten a P.R. in the 100 earlier and we found out that Embrey had made it to regionals, so I think we were all just really confident.”

Roberts, a leg in the 4 by 100, will also compete in the 100 meter hurdles at the regional meet after placing fourth in the event Thursday.

“Embrey was one of those kids on the bubble that just kind of depended on how the race went,” Schramm said. “In the hurdle race, anything can happen.”

The girls team finished 10th overall.

The boys’ 4 by 100 relay team finished in 44.68 seconds, just a tenth of a second behind the school record of 44.58.

“We had one bad handoff,” Coffield lamented.

In the 4 by 200, Jones, Elliot, Davis and Coffield combined for a time of 1:33.18 to finish as the district runners-up, 1.46 seconds behind first-place Zanesville.

Coffield’s time of 22.78 seconds made him the runner-up in the 200, which he feels is the event he has the best chance of going to state in.

In the long jump, Coffield actually knocked out Elliot. They finished fourth and fifth, respectively, with Coffield (20-feet, 8 inches) besting Elliot (20-7.75) by just one-fourth of an inch.

Elliot was, however, the runner-up in the high jump, clearing 6-2. A week ago, Elliot won the ECOL high jump title by hitting 6-1.

Jones was out of place a bit in the 100 but he sure didn’t run like it, taking third with a time of 11.28 seconds.

“I just threw Jones in the 100 today,” Mayer said. “I was kind of changing some things up, trying to keep Quinton and Aaron fresh.

“Austin’s had so much bad luck that I’m really, really happy for him because he works so hard. He’s a special kid.”

Hall and Farrar both vaulted 12-6 to finish third and fourth, respectively. Farrar finished tied for fourth but won a jump-off to claim fourth place and join Hall in the regional.

“(Jack’s) P.R. going into today was 11-6,” Mayer said.

“Then he goes 12-6. Anything can happen. Jack’s worked really hard and he deserves it.”

Hall has been Marietta’s top vaulter all season.

“Caleb’s had a pretty steady year,” Mayer said.

The Marietta boys placed sixth out of nine teams, finishing a point behind fifth-place Dover and a point-and-a-half behind fourth-place Tri-Valley.

“I’m really proud of these guys,” Mayer said.

“Coming into this meet, with all these big teams that are here, you really don’t know how it’s gonna go. It’s one of those nights where we had a pretty good night.”

The regional meet is schedule to begin Wednesday at Pickerington High School North.