Coal Grove#8217;s Branch earns berth in state track meet

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

PICKERINGTON — Tyler Branch has the first ticket to the state track meet.

Branch, the Coal Grove Hornets junior discus thrower, finished second in the event to qualify for the state meet next week at Jesse Owens Stadium on the campus the Ohio State University.

Branch toss the discus 150-10 to join the top four places as qualifiers at the state meet during the first day of the Division III regional track meet at Pickerington North High School Wednesday.

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Chesapeake Panthers senior Jeff Thornburg placed seventh in the long jump at 20-3.25. Although Thornburg did not qualify for the state meet, he advanced to the finals on Friday in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles. He was fifth in the 110s (16.44 seconds) and eighth in the 300 hurdles (41.81).

The top eight times in the preliminaries advance to Friday’s finals. All running events were preliminaries except the 4×800-meter relay. Some field events were finals with the remaining field events to be held Friday.

Coal Grove’s Trent Blankenship and Chesapeake’s Aaron Ross each cleared 11-6 to finish in a four-way tie for seventh place of the pole vault event.

Chesapeake’s Kenny Morgan was eighth in both the 100-meter (11.75) and 200-meter (23.87) dashes. Adam Slone was sixth in the 400 dash at 52.68 seconds to advance to the finals.

The Panthers 4×400 relay team of Caleb McComas, Morgan, Thornburg and Slone ran a 3:31.57 to take third place in the preliminaries.

Lady Panthers Laura Fields was fourth in the 200-meter dash at 27.72 seconds.