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2024 high school track and field postseason area primer

May 13—The road begins in earnest this week for state track and field — temporarily shifting further down Interstate 71 past Columbus, as Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium undergoes a facility upgrade, to Welcome Stadium in Dayton.

With it being that time of year, let's take our annual look in this space at pertinent information for the next three weeks of postseason competition.

First, here is a breakdown of where News-Herald coverage area schools are headed for district meets this week. The big shift is in D-I, as Mentor is back as the host for the primary "area" district. Start times for both days of competition are in parentheses:

Division I

Austintown-Fitch (May 15 and 17, 5 p.m. field and 6 p.m. running) — Geneva (boys) and Kenston

Mentor (May 15, 4 p.m. field and 5 p.m. running; May 17, 4 p.m. field and 6 p.m. running) — Brush, Chardon, Euclid, Harvey, Madison, Mayfield, Mentor, NDCL (girls), North, Riverside, South and University

Division II

Bedford (girls-only district; May 16, 4 p.m. field and 5 p.m. running; May 18, 10 a.m. field and 11 a.m. running) — Beaumont, Geneva and Kirtland

Cortland Lakeview (May 16, 4 p.m. field and 4:30 p.m. running; May 18, 10 a.m. field and 11 a.m. running) — Berkshire and NDCL (boys)

Perry (May 16, 3:30 p.m. field and 5 p.m.; May 18, 10 a.m. field and 11:30 a.m. running) — Beachwood, Benedictine, Chagrin Falls, Gilmour, Hawken, Lake Catholic, Perry, VASJ, West Geauga and Wickliffe

Division III

Cuyahoga Heights (May 15, noon field and 2:30 p.m. running; May 17, 3 p.m. field and 5:30 p.m. running) — Andrews Osborne, Cardinal, Cornerstone Christian, Fairport, Kirtland (boys) and Richmond Heights

The top four, as always, advance to regional competition, which will be at Austintown-Fitch for all districts listed above in D-I and D-II except for Bedford. That district funnels to the D-II Lexington Regional. D-III regional qualifiers will head to Norwayne.

Day 1 finals are girls shot put, boys discus, boys pole vault, boys long jump and girls high jump, along with 4×800-meter relays. Running preliminaries, except for distance, are also on Day 1.

The D-I Austintown-Fitch Regional will be May 22 and 24, with 5 p.m. field and 6:30 p.m. running both days. The D-II regional at Fitch will be May 23 and 25, with the 5 and 6:30 starts on Day 1 and 11 a.m. field and 12:30 p.m. running on Day 2.

The D-II Lexington Regional, for girls qualifiers from Beaumont, Geneva and Kirtland, will be May 23 (4 p.m. field, 5:30 p.m. running) and May 25 (11 a.m. field, 12:30 p.m. running).

The D-III Norwayne Regional will be May 22 and 24, with 4:30 p.m. field and 6 p.m. running both days.

The top four in all events at regional automatically advance to the state meet. There will also be two state at-larges in all events, determined by the two overall best performances from the four regionals in each division among the eight total fifth- and sixth-place finishers.

Due to Welcome Stadium having an eight-lane track, unlike the nine-lane setup at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, only Lanes 2-7 will be used for preliminary heats, with serpentine seeding (4-5-6-3-2-7).

The state meet will be spread over three days in Dayton instead of the usual two in Columbus.

Thursday, May 30 will feature D-III field events (except for D-III boys pole vault, which will be May 31), 4×8 finals and running preliminaries. Friday, May 31 will be D-II field events, 4×8 finals and running prelims, D-I 4×8 finals and running prelims and D-III running finals. Saturday, June 1 will be D-I field events, D-II running finals and D-I running finals.

The full time schedule for state has been posted at OHSAA.org.

News-Herald coverage area student-athletes who captured individual-event district titles in 2023 as underclassmen and who have been competing this spring were Kenston's Emerson Greene (3,200) and Sadie Poudevigne (high jump and long jump), Chardon's Karl Dietz (400), Matthew Sopchak (800), Rae Kawalec (3,200) and Caleb Hewitt (long jump), Brush's Tyrell Cloud (300 hurdles), Mentor's Billy Dennison (3,200), Riverside's Nathan Gaspersic (pole vault), Mayfield's Ty Jackson (110 hurdles), Beaumont's Imyla Holmes (300 hurdles), Kirtland's Izzie Copeland (800), Lake Catholic's Claire Duricky (100 hurdles and 300 hurdles), Gilmour's Mariyah Moore (100 and 200) and Amy Weybrecht (800 and 1,600), Hawken's Leila Metres (400), Beachwood's Madison Torbert (discus and shot put) and Kylie Walters (long jump), Perry's Addy Trefzger (pole vault) and Brayden Richards (300 hurdles and pole vault), Cornerstone Christian's Mylia Bell (1,600) and Cardinal's Lily Ayer (800) and Max Soltis (shot put).