Track athletes step up on big stage

Beavercreek junior Jayman Peterson takes the baton from Ian Johnson during the Division-I 3,200 relay, Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Beavercreek senior Tristan Tapia runs in the boys Division-I 800 race at the state tournament, Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Carroll junior Christina Kallet (15) runs in the Division-II 800 race at state competition, Saturday at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

COLUMBUS — State track this past weekend at Jesse Memorial Stadium was a time to learn for many young athletes.

Beavercreek wanted to give a good sendoff to two members of its team in the Division-I 3,200 relay race. While Dan Ewert and Ian Johnson will be back next year, Tristan Tapia is graduating and junior Jayman Peterson is moving.

“I just wanted to finish strong for these guys and just run my last race for Beavercreek really well,” said Peterson.

The Beavers finished on the podium in eighth with a school record time of 7:57.28.

All four runners said that the second lap was especially grueling. Beavercreek coach James Weckesser was happy with their effort.

“Making podium is great. It’s a school record. We were able to put it together the last couple weeks of the season after some injuries,” he said. “Any time you get podium you’re one of the best teams in the state and I’ll take it.”

Tapia and Ewert were back Saturday, competing in the 800 and 1,600 races respectively on day-two. Ewert posted a time of 4:27.94 in the D-I 1,600, missing the podium. Ewert suffered an injury earlier the season but was able to recover and make it to state. Tapia also missed the podium in the D-I 800.

Patrick Hemmert, Dakota Brunsman, Paul Bete and Nikhil Sample represented Carroll in the Division-II 3,200 relay. The Patriots made the podium, finishing in eighth place with a time of 8:01.07.

“I think we ran pretty well today. We ran our fastest time of the season. We moved up pretty well throughout the race,” said Bete, who will be a Buckeye next year.

Hemmert, who will be at the University of Dayton next year, said he wanted to give it everything he had in front of the fans.

“We love it here. It’s a fast track. We get to go to Ohio State, it’s pretty crazy for everyone. I’m not afraid to admit that this is definitely my favorite meet. One of my favorite track memories,” he said.

“We all had our last race today and you know we were going all out,” Hemmert said of the three seniors. “There was good competition out there, too, and we left it all out there.”

Carroll junior Christina Kallet was also making her first appearance at state competition in the Division-II 800.

“I honestly didn’t know how I was ranked, but I just knew that I wanted to go home with a smile. I didn’t want to disappoint myself at the end of the day. And I know my mentality. I’m a fighter. I knew that I had to do it for myself, for my coach,” she said.

She came from behind to make podium, taking the eighth spot down the stretch with a time of 2:18.56.

“At first I was a little gun shy because I wasn’t even projected to make top eight, but I wanted to try. I wanted my last race of of the season to be my best,” she said. “Being kind of a nervous person, it was a lot of pressure. But I just had to clear my mind and focus on what was import – the two laps I had to run here.”

“It just shows you to not give up in a race. It can be the last 100 meters and you can get passed or become a winner.”

Reach Zach Gregory at (937) 372-4444, Ext. 2124