DAYTON — Two Beavercreek relay teams and a discus thrower earned trips to Columbus for next week’s state championships, after Wednesday’s soggy May 25 finals in the Division I regional track and field championships at Perc Welcome Stadium.
Beavercreek thrower Jay Drennen was the first area Division I athlete to punch his ticket to Columbus. The senior discus thrower turned in a 163 feet, 9 inch toss to place fourth in the discus finals. Drennen had advanced to regionals with a throw of 160 feet even last week at the district meet.
The top-4 athletes in each regional final will qualify to the state meet which is scheduled to take place June 2-3 at The Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
After almost a 1-hour lightning delay, Ohio High School Athletic Association officials resumed the meet long enough to get the other two scheduled regional final events — the boys and girls 3,200-meter relays — in before halting the meet.
According to finishtiming.com, the Beavercreek girls relay quartet of Jodie Pierce, Lauren Shuman, Jordan Grant and Stephanie Pierce finished fourth with a time of 9:26.60. That time was nearly 16 seconds faster than their seeding time from last weekend’s district meet on the same track.
Moments later, Beavercreek’s boys foursome of Jacob Benigno, Riley Buchholz, Ian Johnson and Ben Ewert placed second to also advance on to the state meet. The boys finished in a time of 8:05.61, almost 4 seconds quicker than their district time last weekend.
Finals were also contested in the boys long jump, girls high jump and girls discus.
Beavercreek’s senior Matthew Riekens placed 10th in the long jump with a leap of 20 feet, 2 3/4 inches, and Bellbrook high junior high jumper McKenna Kramer placed eighth with a jump of 5 feet, 2 inches. Kramer and four other competitors had each jumped the same height, but Oxford Talawanda’s Valerie Green earned the coveted final state qualifying spot on a tiebreaker.
There were no Greene County area competitors in the girls discus regional final.
Preliminary rounds in 16 other events were not contested as scheduled on Wednesday. The Division I regional championship is scheduled to resume on Friday May 26 at Welcome Stadium.