Butler’s Daiton Sharp took a giant leap into regional track and field history on Wednesday night at Wayne High School.
A senior, Sharp unloaded a long jump of 23 feet, 11 inches on his final attempt to win the Division I meet. That puts him in rarefied air, matching the 23-11 that Jeff Parks of Dayton Roosevelt initially set way back in 1971 (Class AAA), a quantum span of 46 years.
“I knew that was the one,” beamed Sharp, who overcame an outstanding long jump field and will be among the state title contenders in the event. “I was flying and floating in the air.”
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The top four regional placers advance to next week’s season-ending state track and field meets at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at Columbus. Wednesday’s only running final was the 4x800 relay; all other racing was to qualify for Friday’s finals. About half the field events were finals; the other half will be contested on Friday.
The first day of the D-III regional also was held on Wednesday at Troy. It too is on the same schedule as D-I and will resume on Friday.
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Sharp had record company. Lakota East sprinter Serena Clark eclipsed a regional record that had stood since 1990.
Just a sophomore, Clark’s clocking of 11.79 in 100 meters qualifying bested the previous record of 11.81 that D’Andre Hill of Cincinnati Mt. Healthy established in 1990. Hill was an All-American at LSU and ran for the United States in the 1996 Olympic Games at Atlanta.
Clark also qualified first in the 200 (24.42) and ran on East’s 4x100 relay (47.41) that qualified first.
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Springfield senior Quincy Scott had a final long jump of 23-5.25 to pull even with Centerville junior Yariel Soto. Then Sharp answered. He would have been closer to 25 feet had he not fallen back in the landing pit on his hands. An appreciative crowd gasped, then roared in approval after he bounced out of the sand. Competitors raced to congratulate him.
Scott is the defending D-I state runner-up; Sharp was seventh.
Soto was awarded second in a tie-breaker of better jumps. All three should be in contention for a D-I state title, which likely will require a leap of 24-plus.
“It’s pretty awesome,” said Sharp, who signed to jump at Saginaw Valley State University. “I’ve been trying to get 24 (feet), I’ll get that at state, though. I’ve been putting in a lot of work and I want to win state this year. That’s my plan.”
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Scott had a qualifying-best 10.67 in the 100, was third in the 200 (21.79) and anchored Springfield’s 4x100 relay (42.32) to a third best.
“This is a very special meet for me,” Scott said. “My birthday is on Friday and it’s a regional final.”
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• Sophomore anchor Taylor Ewert rallied Beavercreek to a win in the girls 4x800 relay (9:11.75). That also vaults the Beavers into state-title contention. Centerville won the boys 4x800 relay (7:57.57).
• The only other area winner was Centerville’s Collin Jasin in the pole vault (15-2). The senior missed three attempts at 16 feet. Elks teammate Soto was third (14-6).
• Wayne junior Zarik Brown was first in 200 qualifying (21.59), second in the 100 (10.73) and ran on the fastest 4x100 (42.06) and 4x400 (3:22.29) relays.
• In the D-III regional at Troy, Minster won the girls 4x800 relay (9:25.32) and Fort Loramie the boys (8:10.58).
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Other area winners were Tri-County North senior high jumper Hailey Thies (5-6), Stivers sophomore Ivynn Spears in the long jump (21-10.25), Covington junior Lauren Christian in the shot put (42-8) and Covington senior Jett Murphy in the pole vault (14-8).