BEAVERCREEK — In the inaugural Ohio High School Athletic Association-sanctioned seventh and eighth grade Track and Field State Championships, six Beavercreek student athletes put their school on the map.
The girls quartet of Juliann Williams, Ashtyn Gluck, Lydia Carter and Holly Atkinson combined to earn Beavercreek’s Middle School girls team 32 team points and a runner-up spot in Saturday’s championships at Lancaster High.
Williams was a double winner. She won the girls 1,600-meter final with a time of 5:06.15, and claimed the girls 800-meter run state title with a time of 2:18.88.
Gluck placed fifth in that 800 final (2:22.21), and she was the state runner-up in the 400-meter final as well (1:00.64).
Williams and Gluck then teamed up with Carter and Atkinson to place 15th overall in the girls 1,600-meter relay in a time of 4:30.66.
Hansen and Hill were Beavercreek’s state qualifying duo on the boys side.
Hansen placed sixth in the boys 1,600 (4:40.22). He was also sixth in the 800-meter run in a time of 2:07.77.
Hill turned in a vault of 11 feet to place fifth in the state in the Middle School boys pole vault.
Shelby Moore was the lone BMS seventh grader to qualify to state, but she had commited to a soccer tournament that same weekend and could not compete. Moore qualified in the 200-meter run with the seventh quickest time in Ohio.
If this past weekend is any indication of things to come, area track and field opponents could be seeing a lot of orange up ahead of them in the years ahead.
On Friday, the Beavercreek High School boys team won the Greater Western Ohio Conference title, while the girls program finished fourth in the girls team standings. A day later, the Middle School student-athletes light up the state meet in Lancaster.
The six eighth-grade middle schoolers said they don’t feel any pressure to excel on the High School squad next year. Each of them plan on competing at the high school level.
“It’s a good challenge,” said Gluck.
“I think our coaches have done a really good job in preparing us for that next step,” added Hansen.
Almost in unison, each of the six state competitors admitted to being nervous in Lancaster.
“The meet was a confidence booster for each of us, I think. It will help us to make that jump to high school,” Williams said. “Also, it will help our current teammates know that they can do this too.”
BMS coach Jeff Barr said his eighth-grade student athletes surely have set the bar for his future teams.
“This year was amazing. We had such leaders within the eighth-grade group we had. We ended up getting second in the league — boys and girls. And no other school in the GWOC got that high in both boys and girls. The improvement and the work ethic of these kids here at Beavercreek is just unbelievable,” said Barr, who coached his first year at BMS after several years previously in the Fairborn school district. “This is my 19th year coaching, and this is probably the best coaching staff and group of kids I’ve ever had.”
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.