By John Bombatch
At least two track & field athletes from each of the 10 Greene County area high schools will compete in this week’s regional track and field championships.
Carroll had so many regional qualifiers, they’re going to two.
The Carroll Patriots boys team advanced in 10 events and will compete in the Division II Lexington regional, up near Mansfield. The Pats girls team is in 11 events and will compete a lot closer to home — at the Division II regionals at Dayton’s Perc Welcome Stadium.
Carroll emerged as the D-II district team champions in both the boys and the girls races, this past weekend at New Paris Graham High School. According to Patriots track coach Mike Triola, it’s the third consecutive year that the boys have claimed the district title and the first year, ever, for the girls to win it.
The OHSAA does its best to make the state’s four regionals as even as possible. This year, boys teams from Carroll, Brookville and a couple Columbus-area schools were moved into the Northwest regional.
Carroll’s 21 regional qualifiers (seven relays, 14 individuals) are tops among Greene County area schools. Xenia Christian is next with 12 event qualifiers (5 relays, 7 individuals), Beavercreek (two relays, nine individuals) is represented in 11 events, followed by Yellow Springs (10), Cedarville (7) and Greeneview and Bellbrook with six each. Xenia has four regional qualifiers, Fairborn has three and Greenon is sending two.
Among the four area Division I schools, Beavercreek and Bellbrook advanced out of the Dayton district championships at Welcome Stadium, while Fairborn and Xenia advanced student athletes out of the D-I district championships at Huber Heights Wayne High School.
The D-I regional track and field championships will take place Wednesday, May 25 and Friday, May 27 at Welcome. Field events — all finals — in boys pole vault, long jump, and discus, and girls high jump start Wednesday at 5 p.m. with track events set to get under way at 6:30 p.m.
Division II will have area teams Greeneview and Greenon, and the Carroll girls contingent among its ranks. The D-II championships will take place Thursday and Saturday at Welcome Stadium. Thursday’s starting times are also at 5 p.m. (field event finals) and 6:30 p.m (track).
The Carroll boys are off to Lexington, just west of Mansfield. Lexington’s regional will also run Thursday and Saturday, except their field events start at 4 p.m. with track events set for 5 p.m.
Fortunately, Carroll held its senior commencement ceremonies last Friday. So, there’ll be no need for any Patriot seniors to hustle back to the Dayton area to graduate on either day.
Division III teams Yellow Springs, Cedarville and Xenia Christian will vie for a shot at competing at state on Wednesday and Friday, but their D-III regional competition will take place in Troy. For D-III, field events get going at 4 p.m. with track events starting up at 5 p.m.
Once preliminaries are contested and the final fields are determined, the top-4 from each region’s final event will advance on to the Ohio High School Athletic Associations state track and field championships, June 3-4 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus.
John Bombatch can be reached at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.