Jackson, Valley Christian relay teams sprint into D-III finals
By ERIC MAUK
Valley Christian sprinters calmly punched their tickets to the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division III boys state track finals on Friday, cruising to the third-best time of the day in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays in Columbus.
The quartet of Jamynk Jackson, Terrance White, Lohron Brown and Brandon Paige ran up a time of 43.26 seconds in the 400 around the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium track, and turned 800 meters in 1:30.83 to qualify for today’s state final.
The 800 gave the Valley Christian team a different perspective on things as they started from the outside lane of the track, a spot usually reserved for teams with slower times. But the team was unaffected, posting a season-best time and finishing just 0.42 seconds behind semifinal leader East Canton.
“We don’t have a lot of experience running in Lane 8 but we just had to take what they gave us and run with it,” Jackson said. “You just wait for the gun and run. We ran a PR (personal record) and I’m really happy with how it went.”
Despite having the best regional time a week ago, the Valley Christian sprinters followed a similar script in the 400 semifinal, stopping the clocks just .17 seconds behind East Canton, finishing second in the heat and third overall.
“We did what we came here to do today,” White said. “We knew everybody would be coming after us after how we did in the regional. We have been battling East Canton all year and they always make us work really hard. But everything went well and we just move on to tomorrow.”
Jackson capped a four-event day in his final state meet by qualifying for the finals of the 200, running a time of 22.48. The senior was third in his heat and sixth overall, but just 0.4 seconds behind the top time. He started his day by posting the 12th-best time in the 100 (11.079).
The relay finals will run this morning at 9:55 a.m. (4x200) and 10:20 (4x100), while Jackson’s 200 final will start at 11:25.