Regional track preview: Lakota West hopes to build on district championships

Lakota West High School freshman Evelyn Prodoehl placed eighth in the Division I girls race at the at the Ohio High School Athletic Association Cross Country Championships at Fortress Obetz. Michael Cooper/CONTRIBUTED

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Lakota West High School freshman Evelyn Prodoehl placed eighth in the Division I girls race at the at the Ohio High School Athletic Association Cross Country Championships at Fortress Obetz. Michael Cooper/CONTRIBUTED

Division I regional meet starts Wednesday at Wayne

Lakota West track and field coach Brenton Eisenhard knows that his teams will face an imposing challenge at the upcoming and always-grueling Division I regional meet.

Still, he’s already watched many of his athletes turn in unexpectedly impressive performances, so he also knows their potential.

Lakota West’s girls team won a district championship for the first time since capturing back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016, and the boys team earned the first district title in program history last week at Ross.

The Firebirds hope to build on that momentum at this week’s meet at Wayne High School in Huber Heights. Field events are scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Wednesday with running events getting under way at 6:30. The meet is scheduled to conclude on Friday with the remaining field events starting at 5 p.m. and the running finals starting at 6:30 p.m.

“It’s going to be tough,” Eisenhard said Monday by phone. “This region is ridiculous.”

The Division II meet is set for Piqua High School on Thursday at 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The Division III event at Troy High School is scheduled for Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Friday at 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

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Eisenhard, in his fourth season, credits junior Ben Minich’s 100-meter championship with “setting the tone,” but Minich was not alone in helping the Firebirds capture the hardware.

“During the final day, that charged us up and got us going,” he said. “The previous day kicked off with the girls’ 4x800 and boys’ 4x800 winning.”

Freshman Evelyn Prodoehl, described by Eisenhard as a “phenom,” led off for the girls’ 4x800 team and also won the 1,600-meter run while finishing second in the 3,200.

“Our girls are really young all the way around,” the coach said. “We have a couple of key seniors, but we should be good for a while.”

As usually is the case with championship teams, Lakota West benefitted from contributions from unexpected sources.

“We had a quite a few,” Eisenhard said. “For instance, (senior) Nikolas Kraus finishing second in the 800 meter wasn’t expected, and our field events came through. We had pole vaulters finishing first and fourth in the male pole vault, and we didn’t figure on (junior) Madelyn Power finishing third in the pole vault. Our pole vault crew really came through, as well as all the field events.”

The boys team got a shot of adrenaline from the contributions of football players such as Minich and Alex Afari, a defensive back who finished second in the district high jump.

“We had a lot of football players bolster our sprint and field events,” Eisenhard said. “Afari is headed to (Kentucky) right after the state meet, if we make it that far.”

The state meet is scheduled for June 3-4 at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Based on what Eisenhard knows about the region, he gauged his teams’ chances of making the trip to Columbus.

“The girls’ (4x800) and boys’ (4x400) have a legitimate chance,” he said. “They’re right up there with the best of the best. Evelyn has a shot in the mile or (3,200) or both. Ben might finish first or eighth. That’s how much parity there is. Our boys’ (4x200) has a shot. I like the chances of some of our relays.”

Local district champions

Division I

Lakota East

Girls 100 meter: senior Azariyah Bryant.

Girls 200 meter: Bryant.

Boys 400 meter: junior J.D. Leverette.

Girls 4x200 meter relay: freshmen Lena James, Ivy Smith, Haylie Yeazell, Katlyn Pham.

Girls 4x100 relay: Bryant, Smith, junior Zuyneak Warren, freshman Lena James.

Girls 4x400 relay: Sophomore Hailey Still, Yeazell, Smith, James.

Lakota West

Boys 100 meter: junior Ben Minich.

Boys 1600 meters: senior Collin Shanks.

Girls 1600 meter: junior Evelyn Prodoehl.

Pole Vault: sophomore Jonah Dangel.

Girls 4x800 relay: Prodoehl, Prashi Vatsdal, Kaitlin Kaszubski, junior Lauren Mang.

Girls 4x100: senior Kylie Dilley, junior Kennedy Scarborough, freshman Ava Clagget, sophomore Jailyn Rao.

Girls 4x200: Rao, Scarborough, Clagget, sophomore Ayana Johnson.

Girls 4x400: Johnson, Scarborough, freshman Jonaeyah Edwards, Claggett.

Boys 4x800: senior Connor Davis, junior Ryan Johnson, seniors Niko Krause and Collin Shanks.

Boys 4x400: sophomore Kavelle Favors, seniors Isaac Elliott, Kemen Norman, Ben Zimmerer.

Boys 4x200: freshman Sam Afari, Zimmerer, freshman Joel Nimoh, Minich.

Boys 4x100: sophomore Jiovanni Wilson-Hunter, Sam Afari, sophomore Amare Mior, Nimoh.


Girls pole vault: Sophomore Olivia Andrews.

Division III

Cincinnati Christian

800 meter: Senior Garrett Hesselgesser.

1600 meter: Hesselgesser.

3200 meter: Hesselgesser.

Boys 4x100: senior Eddie Luckey, juniors Noah Neu, Jacob Parnell, Caleb Settimo.

Boys 4x200: senior Matty Cardwell, Neu, Parnell, Settimo.

New Miami

Shotput: junior Jackson Caldwell.

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