PICKERINGTON – Four Knox County high schools will be represented at this weekend's OHSAA state track & field meet, as 18 athletes from across the county qualified at regionals.
Mount Vernon senior Erich Rhodeback qualified in two events – the 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles – at last weekend's Div. I regional meet at Pickerington North High School.
He placed second in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.92 seconds, three-one-hundredths of a second behind first-place Zemen Siyoum of Pickerington North. His time ranked second in the state in Div. I over the weekend.
Rhodeback won the 300-meter hurdles, meanwhile, with a time of 37.95 seconds (Siyoum placed second at 38.59). He will enter this weekend with the fastest Div. I time in the state.
Mount Vernon senior Bryce Wiles also qualified for state as an at-large participant, having placed sixth in the 200-meter dash at regionals. While the top four finishers in each regional competition automatically advance to state, two more from each event are selected as at-large qualifiers by the OHSAA.
Centerburg senior Ben Riegel qualified for state in two events – the shot put and discus throw – at last weekend's Div. III regional meet at Southeastern High School in Chillicothe.
Riegel won the shot put competition with a throw 58 feet. He has now claimed conference, district and regional shot put titles, and will look to complete the season sweep this weekend in Columbus. Riegel recorded the second-best throw in the state in Div. III last weekend.
Riegel also qualified for state in the discus throw, placing second at regionals with a throw of 158 feet, 5 inches. His throw came 2 feet and 2 inches short of the mark set by Adena's Eric Hurtt, who claimed regional gold.
Centerburg junior Chloe Goulter qualified for state last weekend in the 200-meter dash, finishing second at regionals with a time of 26.43 seconds. She finished less than a second behind Crooksville senior Greta Barker.
Fredericktown senior Thomas Caputo, who won Knox County's first state cross country championship last fall, qualified for the state track meet in two events.
He placed second in the two-mile run at last weekend's Div. III regional meet at Southeastern High School. His time of 9:46 finished 11 seconds behind first-place Eli Fullerton of Belpre, who currently holds the state's fastest two-mile time.
Caputo also qualified as a member of Fredericktown's 4x800-meter relay team, alongside sophomore Owen Krabill, senior Titus Krabill and junior Xavier Platt. The team placed fifth at regionals with a time of 8:20, qualifying as an at-large participant.
Fredericktown sophomore Ashley Cockrell qualified for state in the 300-meter hurdles, having placed fourth at the Div. II regional competition at Lexington High School last weekend. Her time of 48.27 seconds finished less than two seconds behind first-place Olyvia Ashbrook of Johnstown Northridge.
Fellow sophomore Elsa Hoam also advanced in the one-mile run, having placed fourth at regionals with a time of 5:16. She finished three seconds behind first-place Amy Weybrecht of Gilmour Academy.
East Knox junior Dillon Moreland qualified for state in two events at last weekend's Div. III regional meet at Southeastern High School.
He placed fifth in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:00.61, qualifying as an at-large participant. He also qualified as a member of East Knox's 4x800-meter relay team, alongside sophomore Nathan Streby, senior Scott Bates and junior Samuel Whitney. The team placed third at regionals with a time of 8:16.
The East Knox girls 4x100-meter relay team also qualified for the Div. III state meet. The team, which includes senior Emily Opfer, senior Madison Annett, sophomore Haleigh Landis and junior Alexandria Magers, placed third at regionals with a time of 52.86 seconds.
The Div. I state meet will take place this weekend at Hilliard Darby High School. The Div. II state meet will be held at Pickerington North High School, while the Div. III state meet will take place at Westerville North High School.