By Chris Chaney
Despite the competitive track and field season being in the rearview mirror, local Southern Buckeye Conference athletes who spent the majority of their spring sports season running, jumping and throwing were honored by the league with the season-ending All-Star lists.
New Richmond’s Pierce Burnam and Branston Evans were named the American Division’s Runner and Field Event Person of the Year, respectively. Clermont Northeastern’s Tramaine Smith and Logan Fishback took home the same awards for the National Division.
Burnam, a state qualifier, excelled in both hurdling events, but will be best known for what he did in the 300-meter hurdles.
“(The 300) is his event, the one he worked the hardest at for the last couple of years,” New Richmond boys’ track and field head coach Shelby Pride explained. “It started with him focusing on the school record and once he broke that at districts, his time plummeted. He set his goals early in the season (to make it to state) and he did it.”
As for Pierce’s teammate, Evans, he came heartbreakingly close, falling short of a shot at state by less than four feet.
“He finished fifth (at regionals) and he was pretty upset because he didn’t throw his best throw and was just shy of state,” Pride said. “But those things happen.”
Evans did receive the highest honor in his league his senior year, which is something he can hang his hat on.
The remainder of the American Division’s First Team was made up by Bethel-Tate’s Jake Robinson, Evan Iding, Jay Baker and Allan Haave; Goshen’s Jake Nelson and Aaron Koch; New Richmond’s Miles Burnam, Austin Torrens, Tyler Anderson, Josh Dixon, T Jay Burbage and Darren Porter; Western Brown’s Rick Pride, Derrick Mitchell, Jessie Leonard, Eean Hornung, Gage Perkins, Chaz Patten, Ryan Fulmer, Ethan Mitchell and Colton Baker.
The Second Team members from the American Division were Amelia’s Cameron Behymer, Bethel-Tate’s Derek Dotson, Goshen’s Travis Scheadler, Jacob Hopkins and Phil Senters, New Richmond’s Charlie Spicker, Erik Anderson, Ethan Gundler, Bobby Bingham and Zachary Fields and Norwood’s Darieus Carter.
In the National Division, for CNE’s top runner and thrower, their seasons ended in similarly agonizing fashion to that of New Richmond’s Evans. Smith, the Rockets’ top sprinter, was the SBC champion in the 100- and 200-meter dashes as well as a key member of the league champion relay teams at 4×100- and 4×200- meters.
Qualifying out of the prelims in the 200-meter dash at the district meet, Smith’s running career came to an end when he finished in fifth place — one out of qualifying position — by .08 seconds.
For Fishback, the SBC champion in the shot put and discus throw, the Rockets’ top field athlete was held out of the regional meet by the slimmest of margins, finishing in fifth place in both the shot and discus. Fishback saw his sophomore season come to a close at New Richmond during the Division II district meet.
Joining Smith and Fishback on the National Division First Team were Griffin and Hunter Stith, Ryan Cooper and Xavier Hendryx of Batavia, Dakota Gambrell, Gage Egner, Devin Wells, Colin Blevins, Allen Smith, Chris Machzum and Dylan Nagle of Blanchester, Christopher Coleman, Dalton Miracle, Damian Mitchell and Dylan Gentry of Clermont Northeastern, Kyle Louderback of Felicity-Franklin, Bruce Williams, Jake Cropper and Chris Dietrick of Georgetown and Code Minnie of Williamsburg.
Second Team selections in the National Division were Joey Holcomb, Dan Peters, Austin Franco, Isaiah Bladwin, Sam Schafer and Dylan Miller of Blanchester and Tyler Boggs, Mason Hall, Hunter Baldwin and Jeff Stephens of Williamsburg.
Complete All-Star lists from all the spring sports are available on the SBC’s website at sbaac.net.