Wayne wins first girls track state title in school history

Boys team from Wayne falls one point short

The Wayne High School boys and girls track teams didn’t have a track for most of the season and still almost pulled off a sweep of the Division I state championships Saturday at Welcome Stadium.

The girls track team won a state championship for the first time in school history. The boys fell one point short of their third title and first since 2000.

“It’s awesome,” longtime coach Michael Fernandez said. “It’s a combination of a lot of things this season.”

The Wayne track had to be resurfaced. Where did the athletes practice?

“Everywhere,” Fernandez said. “At the park, on the sideline, in the gym, on the turf until they kicked us off to do the track.”

Wayne did get on Vandalia Butler’s track during the week of the conference meet and trained there twice a week until the work on its own track was finished last week.

“To be able to do this at this level and throughout the whole year with the minimal resources that we have, it’s an incredible feat for these young ladies,” Fernandez said.

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

Wayne scored 46 points to beat Mason by four. Sophomore Ric’Keya White starred, winning the 110 hurdles (14.28 seconds) and the 300 hurdles (42.69).

“It’s definitely a great achievement,” White said. “I’m proud of myself. I wish I could have ran faster but with the headwind, you can’t control it. I came here and won what I wanted to win.”

White scored 20 points with two championships. Here’s how Wayne scored its other 26 points:

100 (9 points): Junior Te’aira Branham-Patrick finished third (11.97), and White was sixth (12.19).

200: (9): Branham-Patrick placed third (24.55), and Bibbs placed sixth (25.04).

4x100 relay (8 points): Branham-Patrick, White, Kendall Turner and Trinity Bibbs placed second (46.87).

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

While the Wayne girls accepted their trophy with excitement, there was disappointment on the faces of the Wayne boys as they took the runner-up trophy because of how close they came to winning the championship.

The boys scored 29 points and lost to Elyria by one. Elyria sprinter Mateo Medina won the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes to score 30 points by himself. He’s one of six athletes in state history to win a state championship by himself.

The Wayne boys team won state titles in 1995 and 2000 and was state runner-up in 2002.

Here’s a glance at other area athletes who won state championships in D-I on Saturday:

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

Calvin Kilgallon, Lebanon: The senior won the 800 (1:51.23). He finished third a year ago (1:52.73).

Kilgallon had to hold off a challenge from Olentangy’s Hugh Jacobsmeyer in the final meters. He could see Jacobsmeyer trying to catch him on the big screen on the south side of the stadium.

“I didn’t let that change how I did anything,” Kilgallon said. “I’ve been the guy who has caught people at the last second. I’ve (chased) people down in the last meets. I know that’s something you always have to be careful of. I never let that happen.”

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

• Devon Strobel, Troy: The senior won the Division I state championship in the discus (181 feet, 8 inches).

“It means everything to me,” Strobel said. “This has been my goal for a year now. I feel so great accomplishing it.”

Strobel finished seventh last year (158-1) and entered the state meet with the best qualifying distance (182-8).

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

• Beavercreek’s 4x400 relay: Lance Caswell, Liam Gluck, Aaden Hildebrand and Kaden Ellerbe raced to victory (3:15.25). Ellerbe ran the final leg and was behind when he took the baton but raced to victory.

“We’re excited,” Ellerbe said. “We worked all year for this. We were second last year, and we weren’t going to let that happen again.”

Ellerbe, Gluck, Malachi Chapman and Ben Watson made up the relay a year ago. The team finished in 3:14.14, less than second behind St. John’s Jesuit. This time, they beat a team from Moeller by less than a second.

• Lakota West’s 4x100 relay: Kenyon Norman, Amare Minor, Rece Mason and Joel Nimoh won the event (41.67).

“Did what we came to do,” Norman wrote on X (Twitter). “Really doesn’t feel real. First 4x1 state title in school history!! Wouldn’t have wanted it to be with anyone else. ALL GLORY TO GOD.”

Here are the other athletes who placed in the top eight in Division I:

Boys 4x800 relay: Centerville’s Lucas Melzer, Daniel Emmert, Eric Bucher and Ben Cannon finished seventh (7:44.33).

Girls 100 hurdles: Beavercreek freshman Faith Brown placed third (14.98).

• Myah Boze, of Ross, took sixth (15.17).

Girls 100: Lakota East junior Heaven Wills placed seventh (12.23).

Boys 100: Wayne freshman Jamier Averette-Brown placed second (10.89).

• Butler junior Jordan Gross was third (10.95).

• Fairmont senior Kamron Payne finished fifth (11.01).

Girls 4x200 relay: Centerville’s Lauren Jessup-Aiken, Ashlyn Rickert, Sariah Turner and Samaria Williams finished third (1:39.39).

• Lakota East’s Ivy Smith, Katlyn Pham, Qiersten McClain and Wills was fifth (1:40.30).

Boys 4x200 relay: Wayne’s Sean Westmoreland, Key’Shawn Garrett, Charles Solomon and Averette-Brown placed second (1:26.47).

Boys 4x100 relay: Hamilton’s Landyn Pope, Noah King, Javon McClain and RJ Shepherd placed second (41.91).

• Wayne’s Westmoreland, Garrett, Solomon and Averette-Brown was seventh (42.38).

Girls 400: Beavercreek junior Kayleigh Keyes finished second (55.57).

Boys 400: Beavercreek’s Ellerbe placed sixth (47.45).

Girls 300 hurdles: Boze was third (43.58).

• Lakota East junior Katlyn Pham took sixth (43.84).

Boys 300 hurdles: Wayne freshman Keng Martin finished eighth (38.24).

Boys 200: Gross placed fifth (22.33).

Girls 3,200: Talawanda junior Lucia Rodbro took seventh (10:57.86).

Girls 4x400 relay: Lakota East’s Hailey Still, Qiersten McClain, Ivy Smith and Haylie Yeazell was seventh (3:56.15).

Girls discus: Springfield senior Tahjaie Clark-Crowley placed sixth (129-11).

Girls high jump: Centerville freshman Alyssa Grim finished fifth (5-5).

Boys high jump: Miamisburg junior Osayi Ogbebor tied for eighth (6-4).

• Tippecanoe sophomore Trey Sellers tied for eighth (6-4).

Girls long jump: Chaminade Julienne freshman Claire Downer placed third (18-2½).

Boys long jump: Wayne’s Garrett took fifth (22-0½).

Girls shot put: Troy senior Kiyah Baker was fourth (39-7¾).

• Troy junior Tatyana Green placed seventh (38-6¾).

Girls pole vault: Centerville junior Ann Lehmann placed fifth (11-6).

• Springboro senior Izabella Oliver tied for sixth (11-6).

Boys pole vault: Sidney junior Garrett Guinther was second (15-8).

• Wayne junior Eric Pugh took third (15-8).

• Lakota West senior Jonah Dangel was seventh (14-0).

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