Strong day for Kenton Ridge athletes at state track meet

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Interviews with Kenton Ridge, Cedarville and Mechanicsburg athletes.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Cal Phillips jumped 11 feet at a track camp in fifth grade. The long jump has been his event ever since.

The Kenton Ridge junior doubled that on his first try Friday in the finals at the Division II state track and field championships. He jumped 22 feet, 1 3/4 inches to place fifth and earn a podium finish at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Jordan Vincent, of St. Clairsville, won the event with a distance of 22-11¾.

“I just wanted to place,” Phillips said. “Last week my football coaches told me, ‘Just get on the podium.’ That motivated me a lot. My first jump, I felt a little tight. I wasn’t jumping as well as I thought I would. My first two jumps in the finals were fouls. I was really nervous. I had to keep adjusting my mark. Finally, I got the mark right and got a good jump.”

Phillips moved from ninth in the preliminaries, when he jumped 21-3¾ to fifth with his last jump. He finished second at the regionals last week after finishing eighth there last year and missing a state berth.

Kenton Ridge’s two other state qualifiers, junior Jamari McDavid and senior Iman Salhieh, also had a good day. Salhieh qualified for Saturday’s finals in both of her events, qualifying eighth in the 100-meter dash (12.77 seconds) and eighth in the 200 (25.69). McDavid had the fourth-best qualifying time in the 100 (12.13).

McDavid and Salhieh will run against Liberty-Benton’s Michaela Butler in the finals after running in her heat Friday. Butler posted the top qualifying time (11.96). Butler won the event last year, and McDavid finished second.

“I had to run next to her,” McDavid said. “I love to run next to her.”

“You don’t realize how fast you actually are,” Salhieh said, “and the time you can get until you run against her.”

Here are the other results involving area athletes:

Division I: Springfield sophomore Dyier Smith placed 14th in the 110 hurdles (14.79).

Division II: Northeastern senior Jake Smith placed 14th in the 100 (11.08).

• Greenon senior Rachel Stute placed 10th in the 400 (58.11).

• The Shawnee 4x800 relay team of juniors Morgan Huggins, Rebecca Penrose, Sophie Smith and sophomore Grace Holmes placed 16th (10:18.54).

Division III: Cedarville senior Everett Harding qualified for the 300-meter hurdle finals (40.45) and will be the seventh seed.

“(The race) started off a little weird because the guy in first place was a little cocky,” Everett said. “He came up and said, ‘Good luck, you’re going to need it. I don’t lose.’ I was sticking with him until I clobbered two hurdles and about fell. That slowed me down. I just pushed it and ended up getting it.”

• Cedarville junior Nick Christman placed 12th in the 400 (50.96) and junior Devin Gruet placed 14th (51.40).

• Cedarville’s 4x400 relay of Christman, Gruet, Harding and senior Nathan Sheridan placed 13th (3:30.44).

• Mechanicsburg senior David Harvey placed seventh in the high jump (6-3), and Yellow Springs senior Oluka Okia placed 12th (6-3). Harvey placed 11th in the long jump 20-1¾.

• Mechanicsburg’s 4x200 relay team of Harvey, senior Jared Butcher, junior Bryce Waring and sophomore Dustin Knapp qualified ninth for the finals (1:32.24). Waring also qualfied ninth in the 200 (22.58).

• The West Liberty-Salem 4x400 relay team of sophomores Janie Kopus and Taylor Lauck and seniors Caylee Karg and Leah Cole finished 12th in 4:05.64.

• The Emmanuel Christian 4x400 relay team of seniors Colin Toth, Jon Willis and Caleb Moore and junior Justin Webster just made the finals. It placed fifth in its heat in in 3:26.20 and earned the ninth qualifying spot.

• Moore placed 13th in the 400 (51.33).

• In the 110 hurdles, Yellow Springs senior Kaner Butler placed 11th (15.41), and Emmanuel Christian senior Donovan Holloway placed 16th (15.57).