COLUMBUS, Ohio — History has been kind to Gallia Academy in regards to the state track meet. This weekend at Jesse Owens Stadium, both the Blue Angels and Blue Devils have another good shot at nice fortunes.
GAHS will have eight athletes competing in six different events both Friday and Saturday at the 2014 Division II OHSAA Track and Field Championships being held on the campus of Ohio State University in Franklin County.
The Blue Devils have seven boys – all first-time state qualifiers – competing in five competitions, which include a pair of relays and one event final. The Blue Angels – who have scored at least one point at the state level since 1997 – have only one athlete in one event.
The one female, however, is senior Hannah Watts, who will be competing in her fourth straight weekend at Jesse Owens Stadium. Watts, a three-time state qualifier in the 400m dash, debuts in Saturday’s 800m final with the fastest qualifying time headed in.
Watts, a two-time state finalist in the 400m dash, made the podium last spring and extended the Blue Angels’ state scoring streak to 17 consecutive seasons. The Blue Angels also finished as the D-2 state runner-up, team-wise, in both 2006 and 2007.
GAHS has only three track and field state champions in school history. Amy Wilson (1998) and Alexis Geiger (2009) both won long jump championships in their senior campaigns, while Felicia Close won the 100m hurdles as a senior in 2006.
The Blue Devils had zero qualifiers at the state meet one year ago and haven’t scored a point at the state level since 2011, when the 4x400m relay team of Johnathan Caldwell, Ethan Moore, Tyler Campbell and Austin Wilson earned five points with a fourth place effort.
Senior Logan Allison has the best shot at ending that scoreless drought as the Capital University signee enters Friday final with the top qualifying distance out of 16 competitors in the long jump.
Junior Jacob Click – who is competing in three different semifinals – also has a chance at a podium finish after posting the seventh fastest qualifying time in the 300m hurdles.
Senior Winston Wade, like Allison, will be competing in two different events and enters Saturday’s 800m final with the 14th fastest qualifying time.
Allison, Click, senior Wade Jarrell and sophomore Wes Jarrell enter the 4x100m relay semifinals with the 15th fastest time, while Wade, Click, senior Griffon McKinniss and junior Blake Wilson also head into the 4x400m relay semis with the 15th fastest qualifying mark.
Neither Meigs nor River Valley had an athlete qualify for the Division II state meet this spring.