Valley View’s Matheson recovers to defend D-II regional vault title

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Valley View sr. Micah Matheson defended his D-II regional pole vault title at Piqua's Alexander Stadium on Thursday, May 25, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Valley View pole vaulter Micah Matheson was a flame-out during last year’s Division II state track and field meet. No shame in that; it’s a frequent first-time experience that fuels talented underclassmen into the next season.

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But Matheson’s goal of making a return run was derailed when he suffered a snapped tibia last October during a football game against Oakwood. Rather than advancing with the Spartans to the postseason football playoffs, he limped away, wondering why me?

REGIONAL SCHEDULE: Welcome Stadium (D-I), Piqua (D-II) and Troy (D-III)

“There were several (of those) moments,” he said after defending his D-II regional championship with a season-best leap of 14 feet, two inches Thursday at Alexander Stadium. “We had a lot of adversity to work through but a lot of good lessons came out of it, life lessons that will help later on in life when I’m an adult and a father and I can pass it on to my children.”

HIGH FLYER: Ansonia freshman vaulter Brock Shellhaas

The pole vault was one of a few boys and girls field event finals and the 4x800-meter relay was the only running final. The top eight times from Thursday’s running semifinals advance to Saturday’s finals (11 a.m. field events; 12:30 p.m. running finals). The top four placers in each event qualify for next week’s season-ending D-II high school state meet at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.

4 FOR MORE: Shawnee girls have state score to settle

Matheson went 15-0 to win this event as a junior. But he also didn’t have a metal rod implanted in his left leg, like he has now. Worse, the battered limb is his takeoff leg, crucial to vaulters and jumpers. Matheson and his coaches spent the last month preparing for the postseason.

“We did a lot of work mentally,” he said. “We jumped in with a great attitude and mindset and we did what we wanted to do.”

He’ll take that can-do attitude to Concordia University at Ann Arbor, Mich., next season, where he’ll play football and vault. Oakwood junior Jake Schauer (13-2) was second to Matheson.

• The Tippecanoe 4x800 relay of Katie Taylor, Jillian Brown, Mackenzie Dietz and Kaili Titley won their specialty (9:44.17). They should contend for a state title in the event and this might not be their last shot. All are sophomores except Dietz, who’s a junior.

Other girls winners were Monroe freshman Jenna Hensley in the high jump (5-4) and Valley View senior Faith Lewis in the shot put (39-5.5). Placing runner-up in the shot was Milton-Union junior Beyonce Bobbitt.

• Dunbar (8:05.30) placed second to Hamilton Badin in the boys 4x800 relay. Just seven inches separated the top six boys long jumpers, including Keyshawn Jones of Dunbar (21-11) who was sixth. Dunbar had the best 4x100 relay semifinal (44.15) and was second to Thurgood Marshall (3:28.32) in 4x400 relay finals qualifying.

• Meadowdale senior Wayne Lawrence Jr. was on cruise control, posting the best semifinal efforts in the 100 (10.97), 400 (50.10) and 200 (22.08). He’s a legitimate contender to sweep all three sprints at state.

• Regional finals resume Friday with D-I at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium and D-III at Troy’s Memorial Stadium. Field events begin at 5 p.m. and running finals at 6 p.m. at both sites.

FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton

PHOTO GALLERY

Coldwater senior Zach Klosterman runs in the 110 high hurdles semifinals during the D-II regional track and field meet at Piqua’s Alexander Stadium on Thursday, May 25, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Coldwater senior Zach Klosterman runs in the 110 high hurdles semifinals during the D-II regional track and field meet at Piqua’s Alexander Stadium on Thursday, May 25, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

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