It’s not like Devan Rogers to give up. A high-end motor served the Sidney High School senior well in football, resulting in a scholarship to play defensive tackle at the University of Toledo.
The 6-foot-2, 307-pound hammer also was a starter in basketball for the Yellowjackets, patrolling the middle for the Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division co-champs.
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But he met his match in the discus.
“It was just frustrating,” recalled Rogers after winning the GWOC American Conference shot put at Troy’s Memorial Stadium on Wednesday. “I just gave up on it. It’s really difficult.”
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The more-normal spring weather resulted in several outstanding individual performances as the regular season winds down. All but the 800 and 3,200 meters were contested. Those two events plus Wednesday’s winners and the next seven-eight best placers advance to Friday’s overall GWOC championships also at Troy.
The Wayne (GWOC National) and Troy (American) boys lead their respective conferences, although neither has officially clinched. Led by sophomore record-setter Lenea Browder in the shot put, Troy’s girls have secured the American championship. Wayne holds a slight 109.5-106 advantage over Centerville’s girls in the National.
Field events resume at 5 p.m. Friday and all running finals at 6.
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Most league and conference meets are this week. The first of three postseason meets begin next week with district championships throughout the area.
Rogers had an American-best throw of 53 feet, 6 inches, although that’s nearly two feet less than his season best at Butler. He was overtaken by another behemoth, Wayne’s 6-4, 310-pound senior Joel Crain (55-5.25). That sets up a great rematch between the heavyweights on Friday.
“I’m getting better and my technique is a lot better,” Rogers said. “Last year I was just mostly relying on my strength but now I’m trying to combine the technique and strength. It took a lot of practice. After basketball season, I didn’t really take a week off or anything like that. I just jumped into track.”
Rogers will report to Toledo on June 23. Record-setting teammate Isaiah Bowser, a finalist for Mr. Football last season, graduated early and is enrolled at Northwestern.
“I’m excited,” Rogers said. “I can’t wait to get up there and meet new friends.”
• Browder unloaded a GWOC record of 44-3.50 in the shot put. That also puts her among the best in Division I throughout the state. She also won the discus (127-1).
Other Troy girls winners were freshman Breenah Hutchinson in the 400 (1:01.00), sophomore La’Zaya Barger in the 300 hurdles (50.48), junior Jessica Goodwin in the high jump (5-1) and senior longer jumper Camryn Moeller (17-0). The Trojans girls also won the 4x100 relay.
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• Trotwood-Madison senior Joshua Byars-Mason swept the GWOC American Conference 110 (15.0) and 300 hurdles (39.13). Earlier this week he signed to run at Central State.
• Northmont senior Xavier Marable unloaded a 48.73 to win the boys GWOC National 400. That also places him among the state’s best in D-I.
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• Centerville senior Kennedy Coker became a four-time champ in the girls GWOC National 300 hurdles (45.79).
Centerville also excelled in the boys field events. Senior Colin Jasin tied a GWCO pole vault record (15-3) and Elks junior Yariel Soto won the long jump (23-1.50).
• Springfield senior Quincy Scott swept the 100 (11.09), 200 (22.32) and ran on the first-place 4x100 relay (42.83) in the National meet. However, he fouled on all four long jump attempts. He’s the defending D-I state runner-up in the long jump with a career-best 23-11.50.
• Dunbar clinched the boys and girls Dayton City League track titles at Welcome Stadium on Tuesday. The defending Division II state champs, it was the 24th consecutive season and Wolverines boys won the championship. Placing runner-up were Belmont (boys) and Stivers (girls).
Thurgood Marshall senior Jaylen Zachery swept the 400 (49.00) and 200 (22.27).
• The Southwestern Buckeye League meet held its divisional championships on Thursday at Northridge and will hold its overall championship on Saturday.