Last race decides Division II girls state track and field title

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Columbus Hartley won a share of its fourth state title and first since 1988. (Photo by Gary Housteau)

With two events to go Saturday, Columbus Bishop Hartley led Cuyahoga
Valley Christian Academy by four points in the Division II girls team
standings at the state track and field championships. With one event to
go, Hartley suddenly trailed CVCA by two. Needing to finish ahead of the Royals in the meet’s final event – the 1,600 relay – the Hawks…


With two events to go Saturday, Columbus Bishop Hartley led Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy by four points in the Division II girls team standings at the state track and field championships. With one event to go, Hartley suddenly trailed CVCA by two.

Needing to finish ahead of the Royals in the meet’s final event – the 1,600 relay – the Hawks came through in the clutch, placing second in 3:55.24. CVCA was third (3:58.59).

As a result, both Hartley and CVCA scored 55 points and grabbed a share of the D-II girls track title at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

The state championship is CVCA’s first in track and Hartley’s fourth (first since 1988).

THREE-TIME CHAMP
It will be weird when Gnadenhutten Indian Valley’s Kayla Caldwell isn’t in the D-II pole vault competition next year considering she’s been a fixture in the field for four years. Caldwell captured her third straight state title in the event by clearing 12-0. She won as a junior and sophomore with vaults of 12-4 and placed second as a freshman (11-6).

SHE’LL TAKE IT
Gallipolis Gallia Academy long jumper Alexis Geiger has jumped farther at the state meet than she did this year, but she’s never placed as high. A two-time runner-up with jumps of 18-1.25 and 18-11.75 the last two years, respectively, Geiger won her elusive state title with a mark of 17-10.25. She was also seventh as a freshman (17-1.5).

TWICE AS NICE
Mansfield Ontario dominated the girls shot put competition as junior Kelly Barnhill won the title (42-11) and senior Ashtan Hibar placed third (40-10.25). Both Barnhill and Hibar were in the field last year and failed to place.

CAT AND MOUSE
Sophomores Jerica Sanders (Mentor Lake Catholic) and Bridget Doughty (Bay Village) recorded the first session in what looks to be a three-year act at state. Sanders beat Doughty (14.48-14.65) to win the 100 hurdle title, while Doughty beat Sanders (43.53-44.24) to claim victory in the 300 hurdles.

Those two are by no means shoe-ins for the next two years though. Seven underclassmen placed in the 100 hurdles and five placed in the 300 hurdles.

HART(LEY) TIMES
Hartley grabbed its share of the team title thanks in part to its success in the meet’s fastest events.

Junior Chesna Sykes swept both the 100 (12.05) and 200 (24.53), while sophomore Aisha Cavin was second in the 200 (24.63). Junior CharAnna Dixon was seventh in the 100 (12.79).

The Hawks 400 relay team of Dixon, Sykes, Cavin and senior Ashlee Hoffman was also first with a new state record and state meet record time of 47.09.

REACHING NEW HEIGHTS   
Warrensville Heights was third in the team race with 40 points, but the Tigers did go home with something no one else did – a new state and state meet record in the 1,600 relay. WH’s quartet of seniors Noelle Johnson and Angelique Lykes and juniors Asia Hill and Daianna Barron blazed to a time of 3:50.08 in the event which beat their own record of 3:51.22 set last year.

Barron, who also won the 400 (55.36), teamed with senior Ashlei Ruglei, junior Katherina Gentry and freshman Shayonna Jackson to win the 800 relay too (1:40.41).

GOING THE DISTANCE
In the distance races, Akron Hoban’s Julianna Libertin (2:16.01), Peninsula Woodbridge’s Erin Mercer (5:00.71) and Ashtabula Edgewood’s Mallory Kreider (10:57.73) took gold in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200, respectively.

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