Minster, Covington girls 1-2; Centerville, Dunbar boys second

Minster returned to a familiar spotlight on Saturday by winning the girls Division III state track and field championship at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

That was just part of a history-making effort by area boys and girls in the final day of competition. The Centerville (D-I) and Dunbar (D-II) boys teams were runner-up in their respective divisions, as were Covington’s girls (D-III).

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Springfield returned to its glory days, getting a turbo boost by sprinter Quincy Scott to place third among D-I boys.

The boys team winners in the 111th event were Pickerington Central (D-I), Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (D-II) and East Canton (D-III). It was the 44th annual meet for the girls, which crowned Gahanna Lincoln (D-I), Beachwood (D-II) and Minster (D-III).

It was the 13th overall girls state track title for Minster, but first since 2004. Minster also was a state runner-up seven times, including last season.

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Minster already had the title wrapped up when Covington won the final 4x400-meter relay to conclude the morning D-III session. It was the highest the Buccs, out of the Cross County Conference, have fared in the meet in program history.

“It’s good,” said veteran Minster coach Jessie Magoto following a 57-32 margin over Covington. “We told the girls the pressure is on, people are here, go get it.”

Minster won the 4x800 relay (9:18.41) on Friday. Its only other event win was by sophomore Emma Watcke in the 1600 (5:00.15). Covington’s only event win was that 4x400 relay (3:56.71).

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• Centerville’s Yariel Soto delivered spectacularly. His final long jump of 24 feet, 2.75 inches bested the D-I field, which included defending state runner-up Scott, who could do no better than fifth (23-5). Soto then high-stepped across the track and won the pole vault (15-6), spiking the air while descending on the winning jump.

The Elks also were second in the meet-ending 4x400 relay (3:19.58) that Soto led off and bunched points five events.

“Obviously, we know how it’s going to go after the field events,” said coach Matt Somerlot while blinking back tears. “It was a great day.”

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• Scott became only the second Springfield boys 100 state winner and added two seconds and a fifth to super-charge the Wildcats. He revved up for his record-setting day after fading in the long jump. Left in the blocks, he sped ahead in the final strides to win in a career-best 10.66. The only other Springfield boys 100 winner was Lamar Payne of North in 1982 (10.85).

Scott also was second in the 200 by a blink (21.39) and anchored the 4x100 relay to another photo finish runner-up (41.80). That soared the Wildcats into third, their best showing in what should be considered the modern era. Springfield High won boys state track titles in 1957-58 and was runner-up four times, the last in 1960.

“That’s what I wanted to do, put Springfield track back on the map,” said Scott.

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• Dunbar was the boys D-II defending state champ, but couldn’t overcome CVCA, 51-44. Senior Jalani Allen was second in the 110 high hurdles (14.25), fourth in the 100 (10.99) and sixth in the 200 (22.10). Dunbar also was second in the 4x200 (1:28.62) and 4x100 (43.25) relays.

Dunbar has won 10 boys state titles and four since 2012. It was the seventh time the Wolverines were second.

“We’ll be back next year,” coach Sidney Booker said. “Believe it.”

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• Other area boys individual winners on Saturday were Thurgood Marshall senior Jaylen Zachery (D-II 400, 47.50), Carroll senior Sam Janson (D-I 400, 47.32) and Miamisburg senior Jason Hubbard (D-I high jump, 6-8). Thurgood also won the D-II 4x400 relay (3:20.85).

Area girls winners on Saturday were Troy sophomore Lenea Browder (D-I discus, 145-2) and Dunbar’s D-II 4x400 relay (3:57.70).

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