The 4x800 relay was the only running final Thursday to go with just a few boys and girls field events. The top four placers in each event advance to next week’s season-ending state meet at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. The top eight semifinals from each running event on Thursday qualify for Saturday’s regional finals.
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To earn a place on the state podium Shawnee would have to place among the top eight teams, or half the state field. The Braves were up to that challenge in a final regional tune-up, placing third behind winner Tippecanoe (9:44.17) and runner-up Defiance.
Also on the Braves’ relay were junior Miah Desantis and freshman Olivia Warax. They celebrated like champions afterward, beckoning for more rain and grateful for a chance to run another race together.
“Considering I’m a senior, running with these girls one more time means the world to me,” said Penrose.
• Kenton Ridge senior sensation Jamari McDavid attempted a daunting sprint triple with the long jump awaiting on Saturday. She posted the second-best 100 (12.29) and 200 (25.90) times in the semifinals but wilted in the 400.
McDavid has been a state meet regular for the Cougars since joining the program as a celebrated AAU youth champion as a freshman. She has placed in seven D-II state events over the last three seasons. Her specialty is the long jump, having won the event as a freshman and placing runner-up the past two seasons.
“It’s something I’ve been doing since I was a little kid in AAU track and it’s something I’ve stuck with,” she said. “I’ve tried other events but I’m not that good at them. I tried the 800 and I was terrible. These are the events that suit me and for what I do.”
Basketball also suits her. She’ll participate in both sports at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.
“Track is my first love, but I love basketball, too,” she said.
Springfield-area participants who advanced to Saturday’s D-II regional finals:
Girls 100: Jamari McDavid, Kenton Ridge, 12.29.
Girls 4x200 relay: Greeneview, 1:49.48.
Girls 200: Jamari McDavid, Kenton Ridge, 25.90.
Girls 4x400 relay: Greeneview, 4:07.27.
Boys 4x400 relay: Greeneview, 3:34.08.
Other Springfield-area girls in Saturday's D-II finals: Grace Holmes, Shawnee, 1600; Ocean Morris, Greeneview, 800; Rebecca Penrose, Shawnee, 800; OliD-II via Warax, Shawnee, 3200; Jamari McDavid, Kenton Ridge, long jump; Rebecca Penrose, Shawnee, long jump; Jace Mitchem, Shawnee, pole vault.
Other Springfield-area boys in Saturday's D-II finals: Jaron Stoneburner, Greeneview, shot put; Ethen Bradds, Greeneview, shot put.
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Kenton Ridge senior Jamari McDavid is competing in the 100, 200, 400 semifinals during the D-II regional track and field meet at Piqua’s Alexander Stadium on Thursday, May 25, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF