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Adkins Div. 3 high jump champ

Coal Grove Hornets’ Brandon Adkins clears the high jump bar en route to winning the event and the Division III state championship on Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. (The Ironton Tribune / Jimmy Walker)

Coal Grove Hornets’ Brandon Adkins clears the high jump bar en route to winning the event and the Division III state championship on Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. (The Ironton Tribune / Jimmy Walker)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

COLUMBUS — During an Indian attack on former Confederate soldiers in the movie “The Undefeated,” former Union Colonel John Henry Thomas a.k.a. John Wayne, tells a woman shooting a rifle, “Windage and elevation, Mrs. Langdon, windage and elevation.”

John Wayne’s character could have easily been offering advice to Coal Grove Hornets’ high jumper Brandon Adkins during the first day of the Division III Ohio High School Athletic Association’s state track and field meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

With a mild breeze in his face, Adkins got the elevation he needed as he set a personal record and tied a school record by clearing 6-feet, 8-inches to win the state high jump championship.

Adkins edged Ben Olewiler of Ashland Crestview who went 6-7. Zach Garver of Liberty-Benton was third at 6-6 and Seth Donohoe of Triad was fourth at 6-5.

“I was just trying to stay focused and not be nervous. I knew I was going to be in the top group, but not 6-8,” said Adkins.

“When I got up higher, I wanted to win the state and set a school record.”

Coal Grove coach Jay Lucas said Adkins used hard work and his overall athletic ability to earn the state title.

“He peaked at the right time,” said Hornets’ coach Jay Lucas. “Everything came together at the right time. He’s a tremendous young man and he’s worked really hard.”

Adkins had missed on his first attempt at 6-5 but cleared it easily on the second try. Adkins, Olewiler and Garver all cleared 6-6 before Garver missed all three attempts at 6-7 and setting the stage for the showdown between the two top jumpers coming into the state meet.

Adkins also runs the 800 meters and was on the Hornets’ 4×800 relay team during the regular season and the first two rounds of the postseason.

But neither event qualified for the state meet which allowed Adkins to concentrate on the high jump for the state meet.

“I thought that helped a lot,” Adkins said of participating in one event.