PICKERINGTON — Making the regional meet is a nice accomplishment. Making the state meet is a dream come true for many, but for some it’s a forgone conclusion.
Area Division III girls came to Pickerington trying either to realize a dream or just continue on the path what they hope results in an all-Ohio finish at next week’s OHSAA State Track and Field Meet.
Before any reservations for Columbus or the Jesse Owens Memorial Track could be booked, there was the regional step at Pickrington North High School and locals in three events can begin preparations for next weekend’s state meet, which opens June 6 in Columbus on the campus of Ohio State University.
Catholic Central’s deep and talented squad, which finished second in the district to Bellaire St. John’s last week, scored seven points during the first day. Senior J.C. Vosteen soared over 5-1 to tie for second and earn a trip to the state meet.
Other Crusaders also qualified well. Freshman Teddi Maslowski has the third-fastest time in the 300 hurdles (46.09) and the sixth-fastest time in the 100 hurdles (15.84).
Junior Bernadette Dubois had a productive evening, qualifying in the 200 and the 400.
The Crusaders’ 4x200 team posted the fastest time in the field, circling the track twice in 1:45.61.
Along with the individuals trying to work their way to gold, Bellaire St. John came to the regional championship with hopes of securing their second consecutive regional title. They won last year at Navarre and went on to Columbus to earn themselves a piece of the state championship along with Gates Mills Gilmour Academy.
Irish head coach Bubba Kapral finds his squad in a 17-event battle with the Columbus School for Girls, which dropped down to Division III this year.
The Irish are currently in second place with 16 points, finishing second to the Unichorns in both the shot put and 3200 meter relay.
The Irish got rolling in the field thanks to shot putter Lauren Jenkins.
Jenkins, who will return Friday to compete in the discus, was consistently over the 39-foot barrier and her best toss of the day at 39-10 3/4, earned her a trip to Columbus.
The Irish also brought home silver medals in the lone running final contested Wednesday, the 4x800 meter relay.
The Irish, who earned all-Ohio in the distance relay a year ago, will return to the state with two of the same members, the Perzanowski sisters, Natalie and Kelly, who have become state meet staples. They’ll be joined by Sarah Kosky and Christine Bowman next weekend.
The foursome posted a season-best time of 9:56.31.
The Perzanowski sisters will return for individual events Friday. Natalie will run the 1600 and 3200 meter runs, while Kelly takes part in the 1600 and 800 runs.
In the short races, the Irish set themselves up to score a lot of points Friday evening.
Kylie Kidder advanced in both the high and low hurdles with times of 15.48, which is the second fastest time in the field, and a 45.11, which is also the second fastest clocking in the semifinals.
Alexis Campbell is the defending state runnerup in the 100, and she is just a top four place away from going back to Columbus. She posted a 12.56 in the semifinal, which is the second-best time. She won her heat in the 400 posting a time of 59.45.
Justene Delman put forth a 25.93 to win her heat of the 200. She’s set to run from lane five in the finals. She’s also set to long jump in Friday’s action.
The Irish’s sprint relay teams are right in the thick of the battle. The 400 relay team of Kidder, Emily Hawthorne, Campbell and Delman ran a lap in 50.38 to set the standard for Friday’s race.
The 4x200 team, which is the defending state runnerup and just two years removed from winning the gold, continues to make strides back to the state. The same foursome as the 4x100 ran a 1:46.31 to become the run-away winner in its heat. Catholic Central owns the top time in the event.
In boys action, at the Division III Region 9 track meet at Navarre, several local runners qualified for the state meet.
Catholic Central qualified two runners in the 100, as Dan Cook finished second (11.18) and Lance Westlake finished sixth (11.22). Cook also qualified in the 200 with a fourth place finish (22.77).
The Crusaders will be sending the 4x200 relay team, of Westlake, Cook, Cody Minor, and Joey Zapolnik, as it finished in second with a time of 1:32.49.