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Tight races send four more runners to state track meet

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

BYESVILLE — It was what you would expect at a regional track meet.

Outstanding distance races highlighted Saturday’s Division II regional track meet as four more local track standouts qualified for next week’s state meet.

The top four finishers in each event advance to the state meet.

The 1600-meter run was tightly contest and Ironton Fighting Tigers’ senior Gary Monroe earned a second straight trip to the state meet in the event with a third-place finish.

“It was a good weekend. We’ve got some good kids and they’re getting a chance to perform on the big stage. We’re proud of their efforts,” said Ironton coach Greg Cronacher.

Unioto’s Adrian Ross — one of the favorites to win at the state level — ran the best time in the 1600 at 4:18.85 while Matt Watts of Gallipolis was second with a 4:23.52 time. Monroe had a 4:24.55 clocking, his best this season.

“Gary was right there the whole race. It’s just the way things fell. I think he has more in him,” said Ironton distance coach Tim Thomas, noting Monroe ran a 4:21 last year.

Ironton’s Adam Stumbo posted a 4:48.36 in the race, his second best time just behind last week’s 4:42.23 in the district.

Another tight race came in the 800 meters as Fairland’s Raine Wireman had a personal-best 1:59.43 time to finish runner-up while Ironton’s Pierce Reeves posted a 1:59.76 to take fourth place.

“Raine has been improving all year. He’s just a sophomore and he’s only going to get better,” said Fairland coach Jon Buchanan. “(Tanner) Mattie also ran his best race of the year. He did a real nice job.”

Thomas said all the runners did well.

“Pierce jumped out to the lead early and went faster than we wanted and that hurt him, but he still ran a good race and qualified. It was a nice field,” said Thomas.

Cameron Lowe of Chillicothe won with a 1:58.81 time and Kyle Sanborn of Dover was third at 1:59.46.

Fairland’s Mattie also qualified for the state meet as he, too, finished second with a 9:55.72 time in the 3200.

Monroe ran a 10:30.09 in the race.

“Gary was coming off the 1600, it was hot and he just didn’t have any gas left,” said Cronacher.

Ironton’s Tres Wilks ran a 52.74 time in the 400 meters to place seventh. He also joined Robert Bishop, Dustin Moritz and Stumbo on the 4×400 relay that finished eighth with a 3:40.33 clocking.

Fairland’s Kenny Smith cleared 5-10 in the high jump and tied for sixth.

In the shot put, Fairland’s Cody Pruitt threw 46-6.25 and Ironton’s Ben Wells had a 43-1 toss.

On the girls’ side, South Point’s Kayla Fletcher performed well but failed to return to the state meet.

Fletcher leaped 16-2.5 and finished eighth in a strong field. Her 13.41 second time was eight in the 100-meter dash.

Chesapeake’s Alexis Meadows cleared 7-6 in the pole vault while Fairland’s Samantha Gibson threw 98-9 in the discus.

The state meet will be held Friday and Saturday at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

On Saturday, the 1600 will be at 1:35 p.m., the 800 at 2:25 and the 3200 at 2:40.