LEXINGTON — Caleb Brown and his Shelby teammates have their eyes on the prize.
Brown won two individual championships on a steamy Saturday afternoon and the Whippets easily captured the team title at the Division II regional track meet at Lexington High School.
Shelby scored 77 points, well ahead of runner-up Columbus Bishop Hartley (46). The Whippets were runner-up at the Division II-III indoor meet earlier this year and will likely be in contention for the team title at next week’s state meet at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
“We expect to go down to Columbus and compete,” Brown said.
The junior distance ace barely broke a sweat in winning the 1,600 meter run in 4:18.97. He came back about an hour later to claim the 3,200 title in 9:36.16.
“This is kind of just seeing where my legs are,” said Brown, who helped Shelby’s 4x800 team win a regional crown Thursday. “It was more about conserving and seeing where I’m at.”
Brown will have company in the both the 1,600 and 3,200 next week as Sam Logan grabbed the fourth and final state-qualifying spot in both events Saturday. He finished in 4:25.55 in the 1,600 and 9:53.35 in the 3,200.
Blake Lucius, who is a member of the 4x800 relay team with Brown, Logan and Sam Swanger, won a regional title in the 800 run in 1:53.60
“In the back of my head I was thinking, ‘I’ve worked hard for this and I want this win,’ ” Lucius said. “I decided to put the hammer down and not let up.”
In addition to Shelby’s talented distance crew, the 4x100 foursome of Uriah Schwemley, Grant Gossom, Caleb Henkel and Owen Fisher punched its ticket to Columbus with a third-place finish (43.01). Schwemley, the defending state high jump champ, won a regional title with a leap of 6-foot-7.
“I feel like I’m ahead of where I was last year,” Schwemley said. “I’m more consistent and I’m a lot more confident.”
Ontario’s Keandre Marlow qualified for state in both hurdles events and won a regional crown in the 110s, finishing in 14.92. He was fourth in the 300s (39.84).
“This is my first time trying hurdles and to make it to state my first year is pretty exceptional,” Marlow said. “My time can definitely improve, but I’m glad for what I did today.”
Galion’s Colbey Fox won a regional crown in the 400, finishing in school-record 49.41. It was the third time he broke the school record this spring.
“I just came here to compete and run my best,” Fox said. “I can’t worry about anyone else.”
Fox anchored Galion’s 4x200 relay team, which qualified for state with a fourth-place finish of 1:30.43. That team included Evan Barker, Kalib Griffin and Isaiah Alsip.
Galion’s Hanif Donaldson won the long jump title Thursday with a leap of 22-4. Bucyrus’ Harley Robinson-Koge was third (21-10.75).
Galion’s Braxton Tate finished second to Shelby’s Brown in the 3,200 to qualify for the state meet. Tate finished in 9:49.77.
On the girls side, Galion finished third as a team with 46 points. Norwayne won the team title with 65.
Galion’s Kerrigan Myers won the 100 hurdles in a meet-record 14.05, took third in the 200 dash (25.24) and ran a leg on the winning 4x100 relay team, joining Kaitlin Bailey, Jalyn Oswald and Brooklyn Cosey. Myers broke the meet record in the 100 hurdles in Thursday’s prelims then re-broke it Saturday.
“I knew I was going to have a tailwind, so I knew that would help me,” Myers said. “I’m definitely shooting for the 13s next week.”
Cosey qualified individually in the long jump, finishing second with a leap of 17-1.75.
“I was feeling good when I woke up this morning. I got a good night’s sleep last night,” Cosey said. “I feel very good about where this team is.”
Ontario freshman Ellie Maurer won a regional title in the 1,600 (5:23.19) while older sister Grace was second in the 3,200 (11:34.05) and Anna Gregg was third in the 800 (2:17.19). Those three were joined by Ariah Reuer on the regional-winning 4x800 team (9:37.57).
“If you told me I was going to be a regional champion (as a freshman) I definitely wouldn’t have believed you,” Ellie Maurer said. “I didn’t expect that.”
Shelby’s Makenna Heimlich won the regional crown in the 800, finishing in 2:14.64. Maddie Heimlich was third in the 400 (59.61). The Heimlichs teamed up with Reyna Hoffman and Ciera Gurney to take second in the 4x800 relay on Thursday (9:42.21).
“I tried to run it really smart and not go out too hard,” Makenna Heimlich said of winning the regional title in the 800. “I was pretty happy about it.”