COLUMBUS —It’s hard to lose a race if you stay out front.
That’s the gameplan Carroll’s Sam Janson utilized to win the Division I boys 400-meter dash, at the final day of the state track and field championships, June 2 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the Ohio State University campus.
Janson turned in a time of 47.32 seconds to hold off Cincinnati Withrow’s Amir Willis by 0.2 of a second for the win.
“(Friday) and today, I tried to get out in front early on and that paid off huge,” Janson said. “Coming around the last curve, the guy on my outside and my inside kinda pressed up on either side of me, and I knew I had to go. I just knew I wouldn’t be happy with third place, and so I just gave everything I could to get the win.”
Janson will continue his track career as a University of Akron Zip next season.
For most of us, Physics is something we are compelled to take in high school. Years later, we wonder when we’ll ever use it.
Not for Beavercreek’s Eileen Yang. Physics had her flying to a third-place finish in the D-I girls pole vault finals.
Well, at least it helped.
“Last year, I finished ninth (at state) and I was a little bit upset with myself,” Yang said. “But getting third? …. I’m so happy!”
She said she didn’t start out the day feeling very confident about how she’d do, but then Physics helped turn that around.
“Coming in to today, I wasn’t in the right mind set. But then (she laughs), this sounds odd but someone was talking to me about giving me (Advanced Placement) Physics tests and stuff, and it made me soooo happy. I’d been looking for people to give me their notes and stuff, to help me prepare for the class and (giggles uncontrollably) … now I have papers I can practice on over the summer, and that made me so happy. All of the sudden, my mood really turned around. It’s the craziest thing. I didn’t expect that to change my mood, my mindset or whatever.”
Yang cleared 12 feet, 4 inches to earn third place, behind seniors Siobhan Szerencsit of Olentangy who cleared a winning mark of 13-3, and runner up Deidrea Marrison of Geneva who reached 12-8. Szerencsit is headed to Central Michigan University; Marrison is off to the University of South Dakota.
Janson and Yang weren’t the only Greene County-area athletes to finish their day on the awards podium.
Bellbrook’s Hayden Bullock began the day’s podium run with a sixth-place finish in the D-I boys discus competition. After throwing in the mid-160-foot, low-150-foot range in earlier throws, Bullock unloaded a toss of 169 feet, 10 inches on his fifth throw to place sixth overall in the Division I boys discus competition.
Fellow Golden Eagle McKenna Kramer closed out her track and field career by finishing seventh in the D-I girls high jump competition. Bellbrook coach Blake Barnes said Kramer has come a long way.
“She only started jumping her junior year, and missed getting to state by one miss, and then she came back to regionals this year and hit 5-5 on her second attempt, which was a personal best for her, and then she came back out here today and did the exact same thing,” Barnes said.
“She’s pretty happy with how she performed. She’s walking away with her personal best, and she came within less than an inch of getting 5-6. She’s nothing but happy today, and I am too. It was a great performance by her.”
Beavercreek’s Taylor Ewert placed third in the D-I girls 3,200-meter run. As the highest placing sophomore in the event, Ewert says she’s already fired up for a return to Columbus next season.
“Going into this race, my goal was to finish in the top three and to get a PR, so to do both, I was super excited,” she said. Ewert’s time was a personal-best of 10:35.16. Teammate Jodi Pierce placed 12th in the same event.
In Division II, the Carroll girls 1,600-meter relay team of freshman Ava Lickliter and sophomores Meghan Schrand, Taylor Smith and Alaina Casey placed sixth with a time of 4:02.01, which beat their previous school-record mark of 4:02.14 the foursome had set the day before.
Division III had a Greene County podium finisher as well.
Legacy Christian senior Isaac Erlandson placed sixth in the Division III boys 1,600-meter run. He covered the one-mile distance in a personal-best time of 4:24.83.
“I was very happy to end my high school career with a PR and a state medal,” Erlandson said. “I’m feeling quite exhausted but also thankful, particularly for my coach, Jim Preston, for always pushing me to do better.”
Saturday’s run was the fifth time Erlandson had competed in a state championship — the 1,600-meter run twice in Track & Field, and three times in Cross Country.
Joining Pierce in finishing off the podium on Saturday were her sister, Stephanie Pierce (10th in the D-I girls 800), and Beavercreek distance runner Riley Buchholz and Carroll distance runner Karl Grossman (16th and 17th respectively in the boys D-I 800-meter run). You can bet that each of them are proud of their accomplishments in getting to state.
Legacy Christian’s James Brads finished 17th in the D-III boys 800-meter run, and he enjoyed every moment of it.
“It’s amazing. I’m so glad that I got here. I put a lot of prayer, and a lot of hard work into this. The first lap around felt like a warm-up. It was very surreal, and I’m just glad I made it. It took me four years, but I got it. … Thanks be to God!”
He said competing at state will be a story he’ll be telling many years from now.
“Definitely. This’ll be a good grandpa story, some day.”
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.