GALION — Kerrigan Myers and her Galion teammates want to raise a banner of their own.
A junior state qualifier in the 100 meter hurdles and the 200 meter dash, Myers is also a member of Galion’s ultra-talented state-bound 4x100 meter relay team. The foursome of Myers, senior Jalyn Oswald, junior Brooklyn Cosey and sophomore Kaitlin Bailey won a Division II regional title at Lexington last week and is seeded third for Friday’s state preliminaries at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
“We’re definitely shooting for first place,” said Myers, who is seeded second in the 100 hurdles. “If we don’t get it, it’s OK but we just really want to hang up a banner in the gym.”
Galion last raised a banner in the girls 4x100 relay in 2014, when the quartet of Laura McElligott, Michaela Slone, Sydney Hunt and Clair Erlsten stunned Youngstown Ursuline in a school-record time of 48.71 seconds. The following year, the 4x100 crew of Slopne, Hunt, Erlsten and Alasha Williams was second in 48.94.
Galion didn’t qualify for state in the 4x100 the following year, but a new batch of sprinters which included Oswald and Myers made it to state in 2017. That team didn’t make the finals, finishing 10th in 50.08.
Oswald, Myers and Cosey were all members of the 2018 4x100 team that took seventh at state in 49.72 last year. That team featured anchor runner Marissa Gwinner, who last week won an NCAA Division II outdoor national championship in the high jump for the Tiffin University.
Bailey has filled in for Gwinner and the transition has been a smooth one.
“As first we didn’t see it coming,” Myers said. “Kaitlin came out of nowhere.”
The Tigers juggled their order going into the regional. Cosey had run the anchor leg all year but switched spots with Bailey.
“I was last leg for the whole season until regional prelims and then they changed it a week ago to make us faster,” said Cosey, who also qualified for state in the long jump. “It has helped a lot.”
Like the Galion 4x100 team, Ontario’s 4x800 foursome of senior Anna Gregg, sophomore Ariah Reuer, freshman Ellie Maurer and junior Grace Maurer could be in contention for a state championship. The Warriors come in with the fifth-fastest regional time (9:37.57), less than three seconds behind top-seeded Cincinnati Indian Hill (9:34.66).
“In the (4x800) it’s all for my team,” said Ellie Maurer, who also won a regional title in the 1,600. “I don’t want to let them down.”
Ellie’s older sister, Grace, qualified for state in the 3,200. Gregg will compete individually in the 800.
The Shelby quartet of freshman Reyna Hoffman and seniors Maddie Heimlich, Ciera Gurney and Makenna Heimlich will join Ontario in the 4x800. The Whippets finished second behind the Warriors at the Lexington regional in 9:42.21. Individually, Maddie Heimlich will run in the 400, while Makenna Heimlich, the reigning indoor state champ in the 800, won a regional title in the 800 and is the top seed going into Saturday’s finals.
“I’ve been working on finishing strong at the end instead of going out too fast and just hangin on,” said Makenna Heimlich, who qualified for the state cross country meet last fall. “The 800 is a mixture of endurance and speed, so cross country helps me with that.”
She’s arguably the best soccer player in the state, but Madison’s Taylor Huff is pretty good on the oval, too.
Out for track for the first time since middle school, Huff qualified for the Division I state meet in the 400. She nabbed the fourth and final state-qualifying spot at last week’s rugged Division I Amherst regional, finishing in 58.64.
Lexington’s 4x800 team of junior Tessa Gerhardt and sophomores Lily Weeks, Halle Hamilton and Joanna Halfhill finished third at Amherst in 9:13.89 to qualify for state. Individually, Halfhill qualified in the 1,600 after finishing fourth at Amherst in 5:01.13.
When she left the Division III Massillon Perry regional meet last Friday, Hillsdale’s Jordan Taylor thought her season was over. When at large bids were made official Sunday, the junior was headed to Columbus in a pair of events.
Taylor earned at-large bids in both the 100 and 200 after finishing fifth at Perry in both events.
Colonel Crawford’s Cassidy Vogt also earned an at-large bid in the 100 hurdles. She will join teammate Katie Ruffener, who qualified for state in both the 100 and 300 hurdles. Colonel Crawford’s Drew Krassow will compete in the long jump this weekend, while Jilliane Gregg qualified in the discus.
Loudonville will send three girls to state. Cora Forbes qualified in the high jump, while Stephanie Kline will compete in the 300 hurdles and Emma Hinkle advanced in the 3,200.
Crestview’s Reagan Garrett qualified in the discus.
The Mapleton 4x100 team of senior Sydney Abbruzzese, freshman Jillian Carrick, junior Grace Grundy and sophomore Haylee Rogers finished fourth at Massillon Perry to qualify for state.
Ashland’s Lyndsey Karcher was the area’s lone seated athlete to qualify for the state meet. The senior will compete in the 100, 400 and 800.