Delaney Benedict has been on a mission ever since a meet official stepped in her path last season.
A talented sprinter, the Greenon High School speedster appeared destined to join the state’s best last year in her specialty, the 400 meters. But that all changed in an instant during a 4x200 relay.
Following the end of her turn, a meet official stepped in her way. She dodged what could have been a sudden impact, but crumbled to the track with a twisted ankle. Her season was done.
“I was mad,” the sophomore recalled during the Wayne track and field invitational on Friday.
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That do-over incentive has fueled her for a breakout season.
She made up for that lingering disappointment in the best possible way at Wayne. Her 56.47 set a 400 meet record and also eclipsed the school record of 57.70 that Rachel Stute set just two years ago as a Knights senior.
“It means so much,” gushed Benedict among celebrating teammates. “I’ve worked so hard for this. It feels amazing. God gave me this talent and I’m so glad I can share it with everyone. I’m so ready.”
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This is Greenon’s first season in the Ohio Heritage Conference and the Knights will host the OHC championships on May 5 and 7. Benedict should be among the favorites to contend for a Division II state 400 title.
A spring season continually disrupted by inclement weather finally turned during the two-day meet that drew many of the top teams in the Central (Columbus) and Southwest districts. Host Wayne won the boys team title, running away from runner-up Centerville, 75-48.5. Dunbar (48) was third.
Northwestern bunched all its 41 points in the field events to place sixth and Springfield (25) was 15th.
Gahanna Lincoln (60.5) won the girls team title, edging Mason (58). Centerville (54) was third.
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• Northwestern’s Landon Burns, Korbin Spencer and Adam Riedinger all won their specialties and became instant state D-II contenders.
A junior, Burns won the high jump (6 feet, 4 inches) on Thursday. Spencer, just a sophomore, matched that effort by capturing the discus (167-9) also on Thursday. Riedinger, a junior, kept that win streak intact by winning the shot put (58-9) on Friday.
Riedinger also was third in the discus (164-2) and Spencer was fourth in the shot put (52-2.25).
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• Quincy Scott again paced Springfield. The senior surpassed 22-4 three times in the long jump and won with a 22-7.25. He also was fourth in the 100 (11.39), seventh in the 200 (22.82) and joined Michael Brown-Stephens, Austin Tyree and Jacob Yost to place fourth in the 4x100 relay (43.26).
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Tyree also was seventh in the 300 hurdles (40.16).