PICKERINGTON — The state track and field championships got underway Friday with several area athletes taking part. Leading the way was Westfall senior Marcus Whaley who ran the third fastest qualifying time in his event to advance to Saturday’s finals.
Whaley ran his 300-meter hurdles qualifying race in 39.26 seconds to advance.
Perry’s Javin Richards was the fastest qualifier with a time of 38.84 seconds and Centennial’s Daishawn Gossett qualified in 39.25 seconds.
They run for the state title at 3:20 p.m. Saturday.
Two area athletes took part in the pole vault finals, placing 11th and 12th in the state.
Circleville’s Zach Buitendorp finished his sophomore season placing 11th while Westfall’s Tyler Shipley wrapped up his junior campaign placing 12th.
Both vaulters cleared the two opening heights (13 feet and 13’ 6”) before going out at 14 feet.
Liberty Union senior Jimmy Rhoads had a disappointing end to his season. In a year where he won the Mid-State League Buckeye Division title, district and regional championships and set the state Division II pole vault record (16’ 7”), a hip injury in the long jump led to him withdrawing from the pole vault after clearing his first height (14’ 10”). He finished his career taking second in the state and had to withdraw from the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdle preliminaries later in the day.
Both Circleville and Logan Elm had 1,600-meter relay teams in Friday’s preliminaries.
Logan Elm’s Cole Westenbarger, Brock Evans, Jude Braun and Brady Wilson ran the four laps in 3:33.39 — 15th best in the state. Westenbarger, Evans and Wilson are seniors while Braun is a junior.
Circleville’s Addison Lowe, Morgan Blakeman, Ellie Patrick and Lily Winter ran their race in 4:19.02 — good for 16th in the state. All four runners are underclassmen.
The state championships wrap up today at Pickerington High School North.
Logan Elm junior Annie Karshner competes in the shot put at 10 a.m.
Circleville senior Cole Pinkteron has two opportunities today as he runs in the 1,600 meters at 2:40 and the 3,200 meters at 3:50 p.m.