By Chris Chaney
A special year for the New Richmond Lady Lions’ track and field team continued at the regional meet at the University of Dayton’s Welcome Stadium last week as the Lady Lions finished eighth overall and advanced a pair of athletes to the state meet.
“Everyone ran well and jumped well and threw well,” head coach Terri Flamm said of her team at the regional meet. “We were right in the mix in most of our events. We were in the top-10 in most of our events.”
The New Richmond girls took 16 individuals competing in 13 events, including two district champions, to the regional meet. Flamm has said that this year’s edition of the Lady Lions was her deepest in her 13 years at the school.
The most impressive feat of the day among locals was accomplished by New Richmond’s Hannah Hall, a junior high jumper, who won the regional championship, clearing 5-feet-4 inches.
“(Hall) has been consistently getting better for the last three years,” Flamm said. “One of the things about high jumpers is that everyday is a different day and she’s been very consistent on meet days. She very rarely has a bad day where she doesn’t jump well.”
Hall finished second in the district to Indian Hill’s Christine Canning, clearing only 5-feet-2 inches, but she was able to clear 5-feet-4 inches in the regional meet in fewer attempts than Canning, giving her the district crown.
With the regional championship locked up, Flamm has high hopes for her junior at the state meet.
“Hannah has a legitimate shot at winning state,” Flamm said. “We looked at numbers today of kids coming in from different regions and only four jumped 5-4. She has a great chance and probably the best chance because she’s so consistent. She’s jumped better the last two or three weeks than she has all year, so I feel really good about her chances.”
Hall’s teammate, Olivia Behymer, will be accompanying her to the state meet, competing in the 400-meter dash.
Behymer, a sprint specialist, missed out on qualifying for the 100-meter dash by one spot. She did set a personal best in the 400 to finish in third place, garnering her a spot in Columbus.
“(Behymer) went to state as a freshman in the 400 and right now she is ranked fifth (among all in the state),” Flamm said. “She’s a special kid. She works hard in the offseason, which really gives these kids an edge in high school track. She runs indoor track and does all kind of acceleration training. She’s not a seasonal runner, so to speak, she’s been working hard all year long. That’s why she’s so successful. She’s got goals and works hard to reach them and then when she does, she’ll just set another.”
The two Lady Lions were nearly joined by Eleanor Wildey, a junior discus thrower. Wildey tied for the fourth position — the last to earn a trip to state — but finished fifth by virtue of the length of her previous throw being two feet shorter than the eventual state qualifier.
Also moving on to state in Division II were a pair of Goshen field athletes, Calvin Phillips and Tiera Martinelli.
Phillips qualified for state with a third-place finish in the shot put with a toss of 50-feet-9 inches and a quarter. Phillips had finished first in his district in the shot and third in discus.
Martinelli also qualified for the regional meet in two events, but will be competing at state in just one. She was the district champion in the pole vault and finished fourth in the regional meet to earn her spot in the state meet.
Finally, in Division III, Felicity-Franklin’s Arica Stutz qualified for the state meet in the 100-meter hurdles. She ran a 15.71 in the finals to qualify by a comfortable margin over the fifth place finisher. Stutz also competed in the 300-meter hurdles and the high jump, but was unable to qualify in either event.
The state meet will be held at the Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Friday and Saturday, June 7 and 8.
For a full schedule of events, go to the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s web page at ohsaa.org.