Reynoldsburg ends Central Ohio drought in state track; Raiders romp


Reynoldsburg won Central Ohio’s first big school track title since 1985. (Photo by Gary Housteau)

Saturday at the Division I girls state track and field championships at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, Reynoldsburg put on a dominating display, snapped a long futility streak for Central Ohio and established itself as the team to beat for the foreseeable future. It was definitely a good day to be a Raider.

If you like blowouts, the Division I girls state track and field championships were to your liking. Reynoldsburg obliterated the competition en route to its first state title, beating second place Cincinnati Withrow 82-35 in the team race Saturday at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

The 82 points were the fourth most in the 35 year history of the girls championships. Cleveland Beaumont scored 98 points in 1990 and also had tallies of 89 (1999) and 87 (1997).

The title is also the first for a Central Ohio school in the big school division since 1985 when Upper Arlington claimed the Class AAA championship. It doesn’t appear to be the last.

The Raiders are heavy on underclassmen and Saturday was their personal playground.
Freshman Destinee Gause had a hand in three titles. She won the 200 (24.21), ran a leg on the winning 1,600 relay and anchored the winning 800 relay.

Just for good measure, both the 1,600 and 800 relays set new state and state meet records.

The 1,600 quartet, which also included freshman Faith Washington and sophomores Azia Walker and Taneisha Cordell, bettered the previous mark (3:45.89 set last year by Walnut Hills) by over two seconds (3:43.83). Cordell also won the open 800 (2;10.79).
Walker, who won the individual 400 (54.74), teamed with Gause, Washington and senior Timia Ingram to set the record in the 800 relay (1:37.02).

Senior Melissa Dodaro defended her discus title (146-04) and won another individual title for the Raiders.

The Raiders 400 relay of Ingram, Gause, sophomore Kacia Grant and senior Ashley Phillips was second.

Medina sophomore Taylor Burke captured the first of what could be three state high jump titles, with a leap of 5-9. Burke was seventh last year.

Heading into the state meet, Cleveland Rhodes senior Mahogany Jones was a viable threat to win three state titles. Owning the Midwest’s top times in the 100, 200 and 400 this spring, Jones was surprisingly denied a title in all three events.

She finished second in the 100 (12/17) and third in both the 200 (24.69) and 400 (55.61).

Warren Howland senior Nicole Pachol missed her entire junior year rehabbing from knee surgery. This season she spent her spring working towards – and attaining – a state title.

Pachol won the 300 hurdles title with a time of 42.12.

Last year’s long jump experience for Euclid’s Tamica Harbour was forgettable. This year’s effort was memorable.

A senior, Harbour captured the long jump title with a leap of 18-6. Last year she didn’t place and fouled in her third and final prelim attempt.

Last year Hilliard Davidson’s Brittany Cheese finished dead last in her prelim heat of the 100 hurdles with a time of 17.84. This year Cheese finished ahead of everyone in the event’s finals with a time of 14.64.

A school change didn’t stop Harrison senior Brittany Wilson-Farley from winning her first state title in the shot put. Wilson-Farley previously finished fourth and eighth the last two years while attending Colerain.

Olmsted Falls senior Katie Nageotte capped a memorable senior season with a state title in the pole vault with a state meet and Owens Memorial Stadium record vault of 12-8. Nageotte tied the state record earlier this season with a mark of 13-0.

Although Withrow didn’t win the team title, the Tigers did set a state, state meet and Owens Memorial Stadium record in the 400 relay. The foursome of seniors Jonnique Lawrence, Brittany Smith and Jade Clingman and junior Genesis Calhoun turned in a lightening time of 46.53. The old state meet record of 47.12 by Elyria had stood since 2003.

Heading into next season, these three underclassmen will have targets on their backs. That’s what accompanies a state title, which these three earned: sophomore Kandace Thomas, Canton GlenOak (100; 12.04), junior Madeline Chambers, Rocky River Magnificat (1,600; 4:49.18) and sophomore Hannah Neczypor, North Royalton (3,200; 10:39.92).

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