TROY — The Wayne girls track team placed 2nd in the Central Division at the Greater Western Ohio Conference championships while the boys team placed third.
Senior Madison Doss ended her final GWOC championship meet as defending champ in the 400 meter dash, en route to her second GWOC athlete of the year. Madi won the 400 meter dash in the Divisional meet on Wednesday, then came back and won it again in the Conference Championship, running 58.03 seconds. Doss also won the 100 meter dash in the divisional meet, and the 200 in the Conference meet. She was also on the 2nd place 4×200 relay that ran 1:47.56, which is their fastest time of the year. Running with Doss were senior Akaila Howard, and sophomore Amaya Howard and Makayla Portis.
“We’re at that time of the year where our goal is to get to the state meet, and it starts with the conference meet,” said Wayne Coach Michael Fernandez. “Madi did it all, she ran 3 individual events and ran on a relay. She deserved being named athlete of the meet. She’s a veteran and knows what it’s going to take to get back to Columbus.”
Junior Graysen Simmons won the pole vault at the Divisional meet, clearing 11 feet 3 inches. Teammate Codi Scogin was 4th, clearing 9 feet 9 inches.
“Graysen had a great day, and clearing 11 feet 3 was huge for her,” Fernandez said. “She didn’t quite have the same result on Friday’s meet, but she knows she’s back to where she needs to be. I think she’s ready and focused to do well these next few weeks.”
Sophomore Taylor Robertson won the 100 hurdles and long jump in the divisional meet. She came back and took second in the 100 hurdles at the conference meet, but won the long jump again, leaping a career best 17 feet 5 inches.
“Taylor gets better every week, and there’s no limit on how good she’s going to be. She’s got the tools to become pretty special,” Fernandez said.
Sophomore Makayla Portis showed her versatility, placing 4th in the 100, 5th in the 200, and anchor the second place 4×200 and 4×100 relays, all in the divisional meet. Running with her on the 4×100 were both Howard sisters and senior Ashley Richardson.
“Makayla started the year as my top JV runner, but worked so hard throughout the season, and earned the spot to run two individual events and anchor two relays,” Fernandez noted. “I’m excited to see her finish the season strong.”
Other placers: Ashley Richardson second in the long jump (division and conference), Graysen Simmons 5th in the high jump (divisional), girls 4×400 relay of Cayla Crace, Kayle Willis, Brittany Prater and Brooklyn Cassidy (4th in division and 8th in conference), girls 4×800 relay of Sabryna Creech, Ashley Conley, Jackie Thomas and Kristen Holscher (5th in the division), Kayle Willis 300 hurdles (3rd in division, 7th in conference) and Diamond Jones 300 hurdles (4th in division).
The lady Warriors were 2nd overall in the Central Division meet, scoring 111 points (Centerville won the meet 159 points), and were 3rd overall in the Conference meet (all 18 teams) scoring 65 points, behind 2nd place Troy 83 and champion Centerville 132 points.
“I’m pleased with our girls, in fact, I’m pretty ecstatic! We had 5 individual champions in the division, and 3 conference individual champions, plus we had the athlete of the meet as well,” Fernandez said. “Team wise, we just didn’t have enough to overcome a strong Centerville squad. Give them credit, they did what they needed to do, but also give credit to our young ladies for continuing to scrape and fight for every point they could. That’s what makes me the most proudest. We will regroup and do what we can to try and bring home a district championship at our place this week.”
The boys squad were led by junior Mazon Walker. Walker won the shot put competition in both the divisional and conference championships. His best throw was 51 feet 7 inches. Teammate Joel Crain was second in both meets, also throwing 51 feet 4.75 inches.
“I can’t tell you how pleased I am with both Mazon and Joel,” Fernandez said. “They’ve quietly have become two of the top throwers in the area, and are throwing great right now, and the timing is just right, heading into tournament time.”
Relays also highlighted the Warriors. On Wednesday night, the 4×800 meter relay team of Jalil Pollard, Damon Roberts, Jared Wamsley and Lucas Houk, cut over 16 seconds off their previous best 4×800 relay time, to run 8:11.05, to place second in both the division and conference meet.
“I think we made believers out of our athletes and other teams with this race,” Fernandez stated. “ We ran lights out and almost won the race. Our kids ran all personal best splits, too. But they know they can still drop more time. Three weeks ago, we couldn’t break 8:40, and now were one of the top relays in the area.”
The 4×100 relay team of Michael Brown, Roman Sneed, Justin Harris and Jacob Selby took second in the division, running a season’s best of 43.39. They took 3rd overall in the conference championship race.
“This relay continues to get better. We made one change and popped off freshman Michael Brown, and it was a great move. We’re capable of dropping more time,” Fernandez said.
The 4×200 meter relay team of Selby, Diante Lesperance, Zarik Brown and Joseph Collins also took 2nd in the divisional race, and 3rd in the conference meet.
“Zarik Brown ran two incredible legs for us, splitting 22.0 both times. He’s such a talent, and very humble. He’s capable of running sub 22,” Fernandez stated.
The 4×400 meter relay team took second in both the divisional and conference meet. In the divisional meet ,the quartet of Damon Roberts, Jalil Pollard, Joe Collins and Henry Jones, they ran their fastest time of the year, 3:26.58. Then on Friday’s Conference meet, the quartet of Collins, Pollard, Treyvion Higgins and Jones ran faster, 3:25.98.
“We have six kids that can run 51 seconds, which is a great problem to have,” Fernandez stated. “We didn’t run our fastest guy, Elijah Hill, as he was recovering from being sick. Hill owns a best of 50.4. If we continue to drop time, we can be in the hunt for a trip to Columbus.”
Senior Damon Roberts continued his ever improving 300 hurdle race, taking 2nd in the division and 3rd in the conference. His time of 38.97 is his best time ever, and faster than what he ran to qualify for the state meet last year.
“Damon had a great start, something that we’ve been working on all week. He’s been running strong, and at the right time.”
Freshman Justin Harris was second in the 110 hurdles in the divisional meet and 3rd in the conference meet, running 14.95 both times, which is his personal best.
“Justin was so strong his first eight hurdles. He’s improved every meet and has a real good chance to advance pretty far in the tournament,” Fernandez said.
Other placers: Ben Jackson (5th in the discus, divisional), Trew Davis and Michael Brown (High jump, both clear 5-9 in division for 4th and 6th, but Brown cleared 5-10 in the conference for 5th), Santiago Roza-Trastoy 6th in the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles, Jacob Selby 4th in the 100 dash (divisional 11.35) and 7th all conference meet, Lucas Houk and Jared Wamsley (5th and 6th, respectively in 3200 divisional), Elijah Hill and Joseph Collins (4th and 5th respectively in the 400 meter dash, divisional) and Diante Lesperance 5th in the divisional 200 meter dash.
“The boys ran exceptional. I know team wise, it’s not where we want to be, and I’ll take the blame there,” Fernandez said. “I know we don’t have the numbers to compete with other big schools, but I like our make-up of our team, because they never give up. I will never make excuses, because bottom line, no one will feel sorry for us. I think we will rebound and try and win a district title next week, while advancing as many events to the regional as we can.”
The Warrior squad will compete at the District meet this week on Wednesday and Friday at Wayne. Finals on Friday begin at 5 p.m. for field events and 6:30 for running events, top four in each event advance to the regional meet next week at Welcome Stadium.