High School track and field: Northmont throwers also close friends

Northmont's Alexis Boykin won the shot put and discus in last week's Herb Hartman Invitational. CONTRIBUTED
Northmont's Alexis Boykin won the shot put and discus in last week's Herb Hartman Invitational. CONTRIBUTED

Boykin, Nwanoro potent 1-2 punch for Thunderbolts

CLAYTON – Spectators watching the girls shot put and discus events at track meets can usually tell, and hear, when the Northmont Thunderbolts throwers are in the ring.

In addition to the enthusiastic applause from teammates, friends and family the T-bolts throws typically go the farthest, too.

Seniors Alexis Boykin and Amara Nwanoro gave them something to cheer about with their 1-2 finish in the discus at Troy’s Herb Hartman Invitational last Friday. Boykin also won the shot, her second sweep in as many weekends after also winning the Jack Lintz Northmont Invitational on April 3.

Nwanoro became interested in throwing in the seventh grade after watching her brother compete. She kept working on Boykin to join her, which Boykin eventually did.

“I like to take credit for it,” Nwanoro said, grinning. “She joined on her own and I was like, ‘Oh, yes! My friend is going to throw with me!’ I was very excited and now we’re here together.”

Boykin won the discus at the Hartman meet with a throw of 115 feet, 9 inches. Her personal record is 118-5 set at the Wayne Quad on March 30. She won the shot at Hartman with a personal-record 42-7.5.

Nwanoro finished second in the discus with a throw of 112-0, her personal record.

“(Nwanoro ) has been there from day one when I didn’t have a coach,” Boykin said, adding the two have been friends since they were 3 years old. “She’s really helped me in disc because her main event is disc. … When I started there wasn’t really a (throws) coach so I could do whatever I wanted. I was good at shot first so I just did shot the whole time.”

Her discus effort has made up some ground since then. Her PR’s in both events are the top throws among all teams that will compete at the Division I regional at Wayne, according to MileSplit.com.

“My friends were all throwers so I wanted to be a thrower like them,” Boykin said. “Now me and my friend just got first and second in disc. … It’s great. The whole team, we clap for everyone. It’s really nice having a supportive team.”

Boykin, who has a 4.369 grade-point average, plans to attend Dartmouth, MIT or the University of Chicago and study biochemistry. Nwanoro, ranked No. 2 in her class, hopes to attend Vanderbilt.

“We couldn’t be here without our coach,” Nwanoro said of Emily Sattler. “Definitely the support of the team is great. This year we have a special throwing team and I’m very happy to have my senior year with them.”

Oakwood’s Hartman tops in Ohio: Oakwood junior Grace Hartman was named the Gatorade Ohio Girls Cross Country Player of the Year for the 2020-21 season. She’s the first Jill to earn the honor. Hartman is now a finalist for the Gatorade national POY award which will be announced in April.

Hartman won the Division II individual state title in 18:04.1, pacing Oakwood’s team to a runner-up finish. Hartman won seven of her nine races, including the 2020 Midwest Challenge Meet. In addition to her athletics, Hartman – who has a 4.0 GPA, also volunteers with U.S. International to help raise money to build water wells in Africa. She also donates time as a lifeguard and community service projects through her church.

She currently has the top 3,200 time in the state with 10:36.34 set at the New Balance Dash for Doobie on March 27. She finished fifth.

She’s the third straight Dayton-area cross country runner to earn Ohio POY, joining Beavercreek’s Taylor Ewert (2018-19 and 2019-20) and Troy’s Morgan Gigandet (2017-18).

Ford chases down record: Bellbrook senior Takumi Ford set the Golden Eagles’ 2K steeplechase record at the Herb Hartman Invitational last Friday. Ford’s time of 6:14.83 was also a meet record.

Springboro junior Keely Moore also recorded the girls’ fastest 2K steeplechase time at the Hartman meet in 7:53.78.

Warriors lead pack: Wayne holds the fastest times in the state in the 400-meter relay for both the boys and the girls.

Keonte McGowan, Zachariah Williams, Jaden Roberts and Terrell Ball hold the boys’ fastest time of 42.65 set at the Wayne Warrior Relays on April 6. The girls team of Sanai Lynch, Gianna Cameron, Jordan Hampton and Jasmine Kennerson also set the time to beat of 48.22 at the Warrior Relays, while also establishing a school record.

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