It was a given Milton-Union senior Beyonce Bobbitt would punch another ticket to the state track and field meet. Qualifying a combined seven times in the shot put and discus the previous three seasons makes her an annual favorite in those events.
“It’s rewarding to see all the hard work I’ve put into this to finally pay off,” said Bobbitt, who won the girls Division II regional shot put at Alexander Stadium on Thursday. “It’s a big confidence statement for next week.”
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The top four in each event advance to the season-ending high school state track and field meet at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus next week. The 4x800 relay was Thursday’s only running final, along with half the field events. All the other racing was to qualify for Saturday’s finals.
Bobbitt launched a winning heave of 39 feet, two inches. “I knew that I could do it,” she said. She’ll be a favorite to double in the discus on Saturday because she’s the defending regional champion in that event.
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• As they have all season, Northwestern junior Adam Riedinger and sophomore teammate Korbin Spencer nearly dominated in their specialty. Riedinger led from his opening discus throw and won with a final heave (164-11). Spencer (159-4) was overtaken by runner-up Chase Smith of Eaton (164-6) and placed third.
Those 16 points were enough to vault Northwestern to the top of the boys first-day team scoring, 16-15 over runner-up Versailles.
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Riedinger will attempt to add a regional shot put title on Saturday. He was third at state in the discus last season and is looking to better that.
“That would mean the world to me (to win state),” he said. “That’s when it really counts.”
• Other area winners were Fenwick senior long jumper Jonathon Hoerlein (22-5.75) and Miami East junior pole vaulter Blaine Brokschmidt (15-0).
Hoerlein fouled his first two attempts, then launched what stood as the winner with his only remaining jump in flight competition.
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• Boosted by senior sprinter Jalani Allen, defending D-II boys state champ Dunbar is in great qualifying position to contend for the regional boys title.
Allen is attempting a tough meet-opening double, qualifying second in the 110 high hurdles (14.58) and first in the 100 (11.24). Those events are back to back. He also was third in 200 qualifying (22.32).
Dunbar fared the best of any area team by placing fifth in the 4x800 relay, but the Wolverines are in contention to win the three remaining relays. Dunbar placed first in the 4x200 (1:29.18) and 4x100 (43.32) qualifying and second to Thurgood Marshall in the 4x400 relay (3:20.95). Dunbar senior Nigel Beal also was second in 300 hurdles qualifying (39.24).
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• Springfield Shawnee sophomore Robie Glass posted the top qualifying time in the 200 (22.14). Glass will play a big part in Shawnee’s bid to push Dunbar for a team title. He’s cleared 6-8 four times and is the defending D-II state high jump champ. That event will go on Saturday. He also ran on Shawnee’s finals-qualifying 4x200 (1:30.05) and 4x400 (3:21.11) relays.
Shawnee also advanced in the 4x100 relay (43.72) and senior Jack McCrory in the 100 (11.35).
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• Saturday’s field events start at 11 a.m. and running finals at 12:30 p.m.