By Chris Chaney
Clermont County will be well represented at this week’s regional track meets across all three divisions as the 10 area schools will send a total of 50 athletes to compete in 45 events, including 12 district champions.
New Richmond’s red and white “NR” logo will be the most prevalent bib at the Division II track meet at the University of Dayton’s Welcome Stadium as the Lions advanced 24 athletes in 19 events, by far the most of the area schools.
The Lady Lions also earned another accolade as they finished as the top team in the district, outscoring second-place McNicholas by 28 points to secure their second consecutive district title.
“Before last year, we hadn’t won one since 1984, so to go two years in a row it speaks volumes about how hard our kids have worked and how talented they are,” New Richmond head coach Terri Flamm said.
New Richmond’s girls were led by four district championship performances, three of which were individual accomplishments and the other a four-person relay. Perhaps the most impressive was senior Hannah Hall who set a new school and district tournament record in the high jump, clearing 5-feet-5 inches en route to her title.
“She broke the conference record her freshman year and since then, she’s been driven to compete with herself,” Flamm said. “Her goal all year has been to clear 5-5 and she had not done up until this point. She had already broken the district record (after clearing 5-4.25), and she went out there at 5-5 and cleared it on her first jump.”
Analiese Rohdes, a junior, won the pole vault with a clearance of 8-00.00 and Claire Burns won the 3200-meter run with a time of 12:23.10. Burns also advanced in the 1600-meter run with a fourth-place finish.
New Richmond’s 4×400-meter relay team of Paige Anderson, Maren Hance, Lexi Forsee and Olivia Behymer took home the school’s lone relay championship, finishing with a time of 4:09.58.
Of those team members, Behymer also had a stellar day, advancing in three sprinting events — 100-, 200-, and 400-meter dashes. Although Behymer did not come away with top honors in any of her individual events, she has proven over her career that she can peak at the right time.
“She’s just gotten stronger from the end of her sophomore year on (after battling injuries),” Flamm said. “You maybe get athletes like Olivia once in a coaching career. She has the work ethic that you can’t teach kids. Her biggest attribute is that she wants to work harder every time she gets on the line.”
Hance will also compete in an individual event at the regional meet — the 800-meter run — in which she finished second at the district. Shelbi Simpson was also a runner-up and regional qualifier for her second-place finish in the 1600-meter run.
Hance, Simpson and Burns will be joined by Emily Belmont in the 4×800-meter relay, which advanced with a fourth-place finish.
Jill Flenniken, Lindsey Williams, Hance and Forsee will compete in the 4×200-meter relay at regionals after finishing in fourth place at districts.
Laura Painter, a hurdler, finished in fourth place in the 300-meter hurdles and Eleanor Wildey, a thrower, finished second in the discus to punch their tickets into the next stage of the state tournament.
On the boys’ side for New Richmond, the Burnam Brothers, Pierce and Miles, both advanced in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles with the younger Miles winning the 110 outright.
Pierce, along with Tjay Burbage, Darren Porter and Austin Torrens will compete in the 4×400-meter relay after finishing fourth. Torrens will also run alongside Charlie Spicker, Luke Glenn and Zachary Fields in the 4×800-meter relay, which also finished in fourth place.
In field events, Tyler Anderson walked away with the pole vault championship for the Lions, clearing 12-feet-8 inches. He will be joined by his younger brother Erik who finished fourth.
Lastly, Branston Evans will represent New Richmond in the discus toss after finishing in third with a throw of 136-feet-10 inches.
In Division III, Williamsburg will have a strong contingent competing at Troy High School. The Wildcats advanced 14 athletes competing in 16 events, including five district champions.
The Wildcats’ boys advanced four individuals and one relay team. Senior Cody Minnie won the district’s long jump competition with a jump of 20-feet-8.5 inches. He will also run in the 4×100-meter relay with Jeff Stephens, Mason Hall and Hunter Baldwin.
Hall advanced in the discus as well, finishing in third place with a throw of 104-feet-8 inches. Also advancing was KC Jones in the 3200-meter run and Isaias Pachicano in the 300-meter hurdles.
The Williamsburg ladies will be represented by district champions Alexis Donthnier (high jump) and Dana Little (discus). Little also qualified in the shot put, along with teammate Mallory Guess.
Caley Pringle qualified in three events — 100-meter hurdles, pole vault and long jump.
Felicity-Franklin sends a group of four athletes competing in five events headlined by two-time district champion Christina Paskow. Paskow earned top honors in both the 800- and 1600-meter run. Abby Pollack advanced with a fourth-place finish in the discus.
For the Cardinal boys, Kyle Louderback (high jump) and Michael Reinhardt (discus) will sport the red and white for another week.
Back in Division II, Bethel-Tate advanced four athletes competing in two events. Long jumper Jake Robinson finished second to qualify in the field event while also earning a spot in the regionals’ 4×200-meter relay field. Robinson will be joined in that pursuit by Allan Haave, Jake Baker and Evan Iding.
Clermont Northeastern had two girls’ move on as Krista King (100-meter dash) and Jenna Mummert (high jump) both finished third in their respective events.
Batavia long-distance stalwarts Hunter and Griffin Stith both qualified in the 1600-meter run with Griffin edging his brother by just over five seconds.
In Division I, Milford had the best showing of the four teams competing at Mason High School. Junior David DiSilvestro won the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 38.95.
Aunjela Latham will be the lone Lady Eagle to compete in DI at Dayton after finishing in fourth place in the high jump.
Glen Este sophomore Jacob Hamilton will return to the regional meet for the second straight year courtesy of a runner-up finish in the pole vault.
Lastly, Goshen, whose boys compete in Division I, will be represented by Jake Nelson who finished in third place in the 100-meter dash.
The Division I track meet began on Wednesday, May 28 and will conclude on Friday, May 30. Division II, also taking place at Welcome Stadium, will begin on Thursday, May 29 and conclude on Saturday, May 31. Division III, like Division I, began on Wednesday, May 28 and will conclude on Friday, May 31 and will be contested at Troy High School.
For more information on the regional meets, log on to ohsaa.org.