West Carrollton senior ‘naturally gifted runner’

WEST CARROLLTON – The 400-meter dash is regarded as one of the toughest events in track. So what better way for West Carrollton High School’s track coaches to test the untapped potential of one of their newcomers?

It was in 2019 when Demesha Thomas, now a senior, decided to run high school track. She had competed in track before, just not at the high school level.

“We really didn’t know what we had. We said let’s put her in the 400 and see what we have there,” West Carrollton coach Doug Kirk said. “She wound up running a little under a minute. I looked at my assistant coach like, ‘Whoa.’ We knew we had something.”

Thomas chased down the school record in the 400 at the Division I regional championships in 2019. Her time of 58.68 just missed a trip to the state meet by 0.10 seconds.

“She’s a naturally gifted runner, unlike probably any female athlete we’ve had,” Kirk said.

The 400 continues to be her best event, but she’s gaining in the shorter sprints. Her personal best in both the 100 (12.75) and 200 (26.88) are just off the school-record pace.

“That would be great. I’m putting my full effort into it,” Thomas said. “I try every day to beat it.”

Holding all three sprint school records would be great. But Thomas’ favorite thing about track comes during the down time.

“Just hanging out with the team and joking around with the coaches. Hanging out with the team is just very amazing,” Thomas said.

That includes her sister, Ashyia Sales. Sales, a sophomore, is a talented 400 runner and long jumper. She holds the middle school records in both events.

“We just have a bond. We’re always together,” Thomas said. “When she’s running I cheer her on and when I’m running she cheers me on. When my mom’s not here she’s the one that’s always uplifting me. I really do appreciate her and everything she does for me. She’s always telling me, ‘You can do this.’ I really do love her support.

“I got my height from my dad and I got my strength from my mom. (My mom Tanesha Simpson is) my biggest supporter. My mom, my sister, my brother, my step-sister … they’re all good supporters and I love all of them. I really do appreciate all my friends and family.”

* Wayne junior Sanai Lynch set a track record at the Wayne Invitational, winning the triple jump in 38-11. That surpassed the previous best of 38-6.75 set by Chaminade Julienne’s Cierra Brown in 2012. Warriors’ senior teammate Shamaria Davis finished second in 38-6, just shy of the Brown’s record.

Wayne’s boys won the 38-team meet with 98 points to runner-up St. Xavier’s 76. Wayne’s girls finished second with 88 points behind Gahanna Lincoln’s 110.

* Oakwood junior Grace Hartman recorded the state’s top time in the 3,200-meter run, winning the event in 10:24.53 at the Wayne Invitational last Friday. She also set the track record breaking the 10:27.60 established by Centerville senior Emma Buchar last year.

Hartman also holds the state’s top time in the 1,600 in 4:50.47 set at the Eaton Dean Stoltz Invitational on April 24.

* Versailles junior Taran Tyo added to his school record in the discus with a throw of 165-10 at Eaton on April 24. Tyo broke David Hoelscher’s school record of 156-1 set in 1993. Tyo also threw 156-5.5 at St. Marys on April 13 and 158-8 at Minster on April 18.

Also at the Minster meet, Tyo broke Ken York’s shot put record of 52-11 set in 1999. Tyo threw 53-6 to establish the new mark.

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