COLUMBUS — Mike Laughlin’s state championship winning performance in the Division II boys 3,200 run on June 3 punctuated an historical weekend for the Carroll High School track and field program at the famed Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the Ohio State University campus.
“I can’t believe it. I mean, if you would have told me I was going to win this race a year ago, I would’ve just laughed,” Laughlin said. “It’s unbelievable.”
Not only did Laughlin win the state title, but Carroll’s boys team turned in their best team finish in school history, finishing ninth out of 72 scoring teams.
Laughlin, who won the Division II-III state indoor 3,200-meter title back in March, stayed within the pack for the first four laps of Saturday’s two-mile outdoor race. But he began to make his move to the front at the start of the second mile.
“I was planning on just relaxing as much as possible in that first mile, then I was gonna hammer home that last mile, especially those last couple laps. That was the plan all week,” he said. “I had to go out and execute.”
Laughlin’s fastest lap was his last (a 1:07.268-second split time), and the Patriots senior finished nearly two seconds in front of runner up Luke Brown of Sheridan with a 9:26.18 time.
That time is a new school record for the 3,200. Laughlin held the previous record as well.
In all, Carroll had four boys athletes place among the state’s top-8 to earn All-Ohio honors.
Pats junior Sam Janson placed sixth in the boys D-II 400-meter run with a time of 49.16 seconds; senior discus thrower Jacob Rieman was seventh with a throw of 152 feet, 1 inch; and the boys mile relay team of Dylan Tilt, Stafford Stevens, Karl Grossman and Janson earned all-state honors with an eighth-place finish in 3:23.97.
Greeneview’s lone state qualifier — senior Ocean Morris — ended her career as an All-Ohioan. Morris placed sixth in the D-II girls 800-meter run with a time of 2:17.45.
While Carroll’s Nikki Gazzerro missed the podium with a 12th-place finish in the high jump (5 feet, 2 inches), she joined Rieman and Laughlin on the Academic All-Ohio team by qualifying to state and having a 3.5 grade-point average or higher.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.