Out of the large contingent of student-athletes from Miami Trace High School who competed in the Regional track meet, five will continue their season one more week at the State track meet Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
Recent graduate Wyatt Cory is going to State in the pole vault. This will be his first time at the State outdoor meet.
Another recent graduate, Macy Creamer, has qualified to State in three events; the 100-meter dash, the 300-meter hurdles and the 4 x 100-meter relay.
Also on the relay are juniors Lilly Litteral and Isabella Vanover and freshman Alyssa Butler. Mallory Pavey will serve as the relay alternate.
The Record-Herald caught up with the members of the Miami Trace track team and their coach, Brent Noes, prior to a practice session on a warm, windy Tuesday afternoon at Washington High School.
The Panthers are practicing again this week at WHS as the old Miami Trace High School is being torn down.
Noes spoke about the Panthers’ State-qualifiers and the other team members who competed at the Muskingum University Regional meet.
“We’re really, really excited for Miami Trace, and these athletes,” Noes said. “They’ve had a phenomenal year. We’re so excited to see them continue this week at State.
“You work hard all year to get to this point,” Noes said. “Once you get here, this is like icing on the cake. We’re just thrilled that they are able to experience this.
“Wyatt Cory will be making his first trip (to State) in pole vault,” Noes said. “He’s worked so hard over the last year; through the summer and through the winter. He had a very successful indoor season. He was on the podium at the State (indoor) meet in pole vault. We’re glad that he’s continuing his success in the outdoor season. We’re hoping that he competes well on Friday morning.
“When you get to this level, everyone is good or they wouldn’t be here,” Noes said. “This is a level where you just have to go out and have a clear head and just focus on what your goal is for that day. Wyatt’s goal is obviously to reach the podium.
“It is the goal for all of the girls to qualify to finals and come back to run again on Saturday,” Noes said.
The Division II boys pole vault competition at State is set for Friday beginning at 9:30 a.m.
“The girls 4 x 1 (4 x 100-meter relay) they’re just running really, really well right now,” Noes said. “They ran a nice prelim race (at the Regional meet). We had some things we knew we could improve on with some exchanges. We worked on those and they did improve. That showed as they ran a new school record by almost a half-second. It was just amazing for them to run that well.
“The record was 51.48,” Noes said. “They ran a 51.36 (in the Regional prelims) and a 51.00 in the finals. That’s really awesome. We’d like to see them continue this week with a good week of practice. We’d like for them to continue to run well this weekend.”
Noes spoke about Macy Creamer, now a four-time State-qualifier after going to State last year in the 300-meter hurdles.
“Last year she competed (at State) in the 300-meter hurdles,” Noes said. “She set the new school record last year in the State prelims, so, that was exciting for her.” Creamer ran a time of 46.19 at State last year, placing 11th out of 18 competitors.
Creamer ran a 46.75 in the Regional finals last week, placing fourth.
“We’d like to see her surpass that mark (46.19) Friday,” Noes said. “Macy qualified to the State meet in three events, which is an amazing feat in itself. She was a four-event Regional qualifier. That is a testament to her hard work.
“We decided to scratch her in two events at the Regional (the 100-meter hurdles and the long jump) and insert her into the 4 x 1,” Noes said. “She’s also running the 100-meter dash and 300-meter hurdles at the State meet. She’s anchoring our relay. We’re excited for Macy and all the girls as they head up to Columbus.
“Mallory Pavey has been with us as an alternate since the District meet,” Noes said. “She’s a part of this relay team.
“We’re just real excited and very fortunate to have multiple athletes qualify to the State meet,” Noes said. “It’s a testament to how hard our kids work.”
The 100-meter dash prelims for Division II are Friday at 2:20 p.m.
The 4 x 100-meter relay prelims go off at 2:50 p.m. and the 300-meter hurdles prelims are set for 3:20 p.m. Friday.
“We took over 15 people to Regionals in 12 events,” Noes said. “That’s a fantastic number. We had a lot of multiple-event qualifiers. Wyatt was in the Regionals in three events. He qualified for the finals in the 110’s. Things didn’t quite go his way, as he had hoped, but he still ran well and still placed. Now, he can strictly focus on pole vault. He’s got one event to focus on and that’s where his whole attention is going.”
Noes spoke about the other student-athletes for Miami Trace who competed at the Regional meet.
“Jotham Lewis was a three-event Regional qualifier,” Noes said. “He qualified in the 4 x 8 relay, the open 800 and the 4 x 4 relay. The 4 x 8 was also with Simon and Henry DeBruin and Caleb Brannigan. They ran the qualifying time at Districts, they ran that at Regionals. They were right there where they were. Jotham’s a senior, but we get the other three back next year. We’re excited to see what our 4 x 8 can do again next year.
“Our 4 x 4 had Jotham, Simon and Henry and Jake Atwood,” Noes said. “They were running really well. They were running third in their heat when we got to the last exchange. They did get matched up enough and unfortunately, somebody ran between them and they dropped the baton and it fell off to the infield. They picked it up and finished, but, at that point, it was too late. That was really unfortunate, because they had a really good chance of making it to the finals on Saturday.
“Jotham ran in the finals of the 800 Saturday,” Noes said. “It wasn’t his best race. But, he was able to get there and qualify.
“We had a great day out of freshman Mallory Conklin in the 1600,” Noes said. “She ended up moving up four spots from her seed. She finished 12th and ran a (personal record) (5:46.04). She ran a super race. She fought. She competed the entire race. She ran faster than at Districts. We’re excited to see what she can continue to do. I know she’s going to work hard this summer to get ready for cross country in the fall.
“Isabella Vanover competed in the 200-meters at the Regional meet,” Noes said. “We didn’t have a real good block start. She pushed the curve and ran well. She tensed up and tightened up and that caused her to slow up. We’re excited for her next year.
“On our boys 4 x 2, we had Jake Atwood lead us off,” Noes said. “He handed to Josh Liff. Then it was Wyatt Cory and Jaden Haldeman. We had two other members of that relay run at the Districts (Matthew Haddox and Keegan Terry). They had plans prior to this for vacations with their families. On Thursday, they ran the fastest time they had all year (1:33.50). That’s all you can ask for.
“Jaden also competed at Regionals in the 300-meter hurdles,” Noes said. “It was good for him to see that competition. We’ve got high expectations for him coming into next year. He knows that he has to work really hard over the course of the next year. Jaden ran at Regionals last year, finishing 10th.” This year, Haldeman ran a 41.01 in the Regional prelims, placing ninth.
“We had a lot of p.r.’s (personal records),” Noes said. “We had people running p.r.’s all over the place. This is when you’re supposed to do it and they did.”
“That’s going to be a little different,” Wyatt Cory said, when asked about competing in the pole vault at 9:30 a.m. at State. “I plan on going in, having fun and getting a p.r. A top five or four finish would be awesome.”
“I’m definitely excited,” Macy Creamer said. “The obvious goal is to make it to the podium. So, to do that, I’m probably going to have to run my best time of the season.
“It’s the first time in a long time that the girls Trace team has brought a relay to the State meet,” Creamer said. “I’m super-excited. I’m definitely proud of our team and I’m looking forward to a good race on Friday.”
“I think we’re going to do pretty well,” Lilly Litteral said. “We’re in a good lane. We’re in lane three, which is pretty good for me and Alyssa, because we can hug the curve pretty good. I hope we can get a new p.r.”
The team members are going up to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium to check out the nine-lane track on Thursday, Litteral said.
“I’m excited,” Alyssa Butler said. “And I’m really proud of the team for how far we’ve gotten.”
“I’m super-excited,” Isabella Vanover said. “I’m planning on (setting) a new school record. I’m hoping we make Saturday’s finals and get in the top four.”