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Altered 2024 state outdoor track and field schedule out; indoor state set for this weekend

Feb. 29—With the calendar turning toward March, the focus for the Ohio high school track and field community shifts from concluding its indoor campaign into an eye toward outdoor.

In that spirit, two sets of information pertinent to that transition are worth sharing.

In October, it was announced by the Ohio High School Athletic Association that the state outdoor meet would be held at Dayton's Welcome Stadium in 2024, with Ohio State's Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium undergoing a track replacement starting in May. The state meet will return to The 'O' in 2025.

State track and field moves to Dayton for 2024, will return to Columbus in 2025

In addition, it was unveiled in January that the state meet would be staged over three days, not the typical two. Welcome Stadium has an eight-lane track, not nine like OSU. So in order to maintain at-large running-event berths for the meet, the competition window has to be extended for additional preliminary heats.

State track and field expanded to three days for 2024

That temporary expanded schedule for 2024 in Dayton — over Thursday, May 30, Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1 — has now been released by the OHSAA.

Although the schedule has effect on all divisions, the most dramatic from what Ohio is accustomed across its three divisions will be in Division III.

The first set of D-III field events (girls shot put, boys discus, girls pole vault, boys long jump and girls high jump) will start at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 30. The second field-event wave of boys shot put, girls discus, girls long jump and boys high jump will be at 6 p.m. D-III boys pole vault will be contested at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 31.

D-III running prelims will be staged on that Thursday as well, from 4:30 to 7:35 p.m., preceded by the 4x800-meter relay finals at 4 and 4:15, respectively.

The D-III running finals, which are usually held as the morning session on the Saturday of the state meet during a normal year in Columbus, will pivot into a Friday night session. Those will go from 6:30 to 8:20 p.m.

D-II field events will be Friday, May 31 at 9 a.m. (girls shot put, boys discus, girls pole vault, boys long jump, girls high jump) and 1 p.m. (boys shot put, girls discus, boys pole vault, girls long jump, boys high jump).

D-II Day 1 running events are now the Friday morning session, with the 4x8 finals at 9 and 9:15 a.m. and prelims from 9:30 a.m. to 12:35 p.m.

D-I Day 1 running will be the Friday afternoon session, with 4x8s at 2 and 2:15 p.m. and prelims from 2:30 to 5:40 p.m.

Saturday, June 1 will then be entirely D-I and D-II.

D-I field events will be at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., with the same event cycles as D-II on Friday.

D-II running finals will be from 10 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., with D-I from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The full time schedule is available on OHSAA.org under its state track and field page.

Before getting to outdoor season, though, there is the matter of the state indoor meet, which will be March 1 (D-I) and March 2 (D-II/III) at SPIRE. Entry lists were released this week on Ohio MileSplit. Top-five News-Herald coverage area seeds in each meet, per the entry lists, are as follows:

In the D-I meet, Mentor's Billy Dennison (fourth, 1,600), Chardon's Karl Dietz (third, 400), Caleb Hewitt (fifth, long jump) and boys 4x4 (second), Mayfield's Ty Jackson (first, 60 hurdles), Brush's Tyrell Cloud (second, 60 hurdles), University's Andrew Merritt (fourth, long jump) and Euclid's Eve Clark (second, 400).

In the D-II/III meet, Beachwood's Alexandra Kheyfets (fifth, 3,200), Dakota Houston (fifth, long jump), boys 4x2 (first) and boys 4x4 (fifth), NDCL's boys 4x2 (fourth), boys 4x4 (first) and boys 4x8 (fourth), Perry's Brayden Richards (first, pole vault and fourth, 60 hurdles), Hawken's Ethan Metz (fifth, pole vault), Leila Metres (second, 400) and girls 4x4 (fourth), Gilmour's Brayden Green (first, triple jump), Amy Weybrecht (first, 800 and 1,600), Mariyah Moore (second, 200 and third, 60), girls 4x2 (third) and girls 4x4 (first) and Beaumont's 4x2 (fourth).