Oakwood sophomore distance ace Kyle Lethander received a big assist – and constant push – from older brother and Lumberjacks senior Ethan during this past offseason. Neither has been the same since.
“We push each other,” assured Kyle, who won the 1600 meters (4:33.67) during a mostly qualifying first day of the Southwestern Buckeye League track and field meet at Northridge High School on Thursday.
“We’ve done a lot over the winter and trained together. With (Ethan), training has been a whole lot more fun.”
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There were finals in either four-five events in the Southwestern and Buckeye divisional competition. All the other racing was to qualify for Saturday’s finals. The field events will begin at 9:30 a.m. and running finals at 10.
Lethander overtook the 1600 lead after a tactical first lap and came within one second of his personal best at Eaton earlier this season. He also is close to cracking two minutes in the 800 and went 9:44 in the 3200 at the Wayne Invitational. That makes him a favorite in the 8-lap grinder on Saturday.
“I did a lot of training over the winter,” he said. “It was my biggest winter for training. I’ve posted some really big (personal bests) this season, especially in the 2-mile. It’s been great.”
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Other notable performances:
• Preble Shawnee senior Chase Thompson served notice he’s a state contender by launching a winning long jump of 21-11.50. Northridge junior Masen Penley was second (21-2).
• Waynesville senior Tara Todd (12:44.91) and freshman teammate Hannah Gill went 1-2 in the girls 3,200.
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• Oakwood senior Lily Michael joined Lethander in capturing the girls 1600 (5:29.08).
• Milton-Union senior Sam Motz unloaded a 51-3.50 to win the shot put.
• Just as noteworthy was who didn’t compete: Carlisle senior sprinter D.J. Chambers. He placed in the state Division II 100 and 200 meters as a sophomore but missed the postseason last year after aggravating a hamstring.
He has missed most of this season, too, with the same injury. He was held out of the SWBL meet in hopes of being ready for next week’s D-II district at Carlisle.
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• Carroll senior Sam Janson won the 400, 200 and anchored the winning 4x400 relay as the Patriots boys won their 10th consecutive Greater Catholic League Co-Ed divisional title at Fenwick on Thursday. Janson also was the 100 runner-up and was named the GCL track athlete for the third straight year.
Carroll junior David Litteral was the discus and was second in the shot put to earn the field athlete of the year honor.
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Chaminade Julienne won the girls team title. Alter junior Peri Bockrath won the 3200, 1600, 800 and anchored the winning 4x800 relay to be the track athlete of the year for the second time. Carroll sophomore Julia Keller won the discus and was second in the shot put to earn field athlete of the year.