PICKERINGTON — The Miami Trace Panthers track teams sent a contingent of 13 competitors in nine events to the Division I Regional track meet held at Pickerington North High School Wednesday, May 26.
The level of competition at the Division I meet is almost exponentially greater than what the Panthers faced during the regular season.
The meet began under cloudy skies and a persistent light rain that finally abated about the time the track portion of the meet was set to get underway at 6 p.m.
Miami Trace’s Jaden Haldeman, a recent graduate, more than held his own with the competition in the 110 and 300-meter hurdles, qualifying to Friday’s finals in both events.
Haldeman had the fourth-fastest time in the 110-meter hurdles out of 15 contestants; 14.93. He was one of four hurdlers to finish his race in under 15 seconds.
In the 300-meter hurdles, Haldeman had the second-fastest time out of 13 competitors in 38.604. Only Erich Rhodeback of Mount Vernon was faster (37.74).
Running events will be held Friday, beginning at 6 p.m. A top four finish in the finals will send those contestants on to the Division I State tournament. This year, the State track and field tournament will be split into three events, with the Division I State meet to be held at Hilliard Darby High School on June 4 and 5.
The Panthers sent two relays to the Regional meet.
In the 4 x 800-meter relay, Miami Trace was 16th in 9:22.68. Those runners were Graham Carson, Max Trimble, Fletcher Havens and Mcale Callahan.
The four teams that qualified to the State tournament — Hilliard Davidson, Pickerington Central, Thomas Worthington and Hillard Darby — all clocked in under eight minutes.
Miami Trace’s Jadon Rowe placed 15th in the 100-meter dash in 11.88. Six of the eight finalists ran under 11 seconds.
In the 4 x 100-meter relay, the Miami Trace team of Taevin Brown, Treven Shoemaker, Jake Manbevers and Rowe placed 16th in a time of 46.83.
Seven of the eight finalists clocked in under 43 seconds.
Jana Griffith placed 13th in the 300-meter hurdles in 49.67.
The top eight advancing to finals ran between 44.54 and 46.17.
Libby Aleshire had a best throw of 30’ 4” in the shot put, placing tied for 13th.
The winner, Jenna Lucas of Watkins Memorial, won with a throw of 38’ 2 1/4”. The top nine competitors threw over 34 feet.
In addition to Haldeman competing in the two hurdles finals, Miami Trace will have Aleshire returning to compete in the discus throw, along with Lilly Workman.
Logan Rodgers will compete in the high jump Friday. Field events are scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.