Local athletes leave mark at state track tournament


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(This article focuses on local DII/III athletes)

The 2023 OHSAA State Track Tournament was successful for many local athletes as they bring home state championships.

East Canton’s Brylan Holland was the first local state champion on Saturday, winning the 1,600-meter run with ease, crossing the finish line in 4:13.51.

Holland set the tone early in the race, running a first-lap split faster than the other competitors with a time of 1:02.25. He kicked it into a high gear as he entered the fourth and final lap, running it in 59.26.

Holland refused to settle for just one state title this weekend. The East Canton senior doubled up on Saturday, also winning a state championship in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 9:24.75. He saved his energy most of the race, hanging back in 7th place. He turned up the jets in the final two laps to claim the victory as he passed runner after runner.

Audrey Wade also earned All-Ohio honors for the East Canton Hornets. The junior distance runner placed eighth in the 1,600-meter Division III girls run with a time of 5:06.43. She missed seventh place by .09.

In the Division II girls 1,600-meter run, Minerva sophomore Kayla Crissman finished 17th with a time of 5:24.91.

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Coverage of the 2023 OHSAA State Track and Field tournament is brought to you by Kishman’s IGA with locations in Minerva and Malvern.

Canton South senior Xavier Williams, a first-year track athlete, made it look easy in the Division II boys high jump event.

Williams won the meet by clearing a height of 6′ 7″. He cleared all of his first five jumps between 6′ and 6′ 6″. Once the bar was raised to 6′ 7″, Williams couldn’t quite clear the height in his first two jumps, but he cleared the third and final jump with ease and was the only one in the field to do so.

Sandy Valley’s Jason Morris placed 11th in the high jump event, clearing 6′.

Marlington’s Colin Cernansky decided one state championship wasn’t enough for the distance runner this weekend. The junior for the Dukes anchored the state champion 4×800 relay for Marlington Friday afternoon. He earned an individual title Saturday in the 1,600-meter run.

Cernansky clocked a time of 4:14.57 to win the one-mile event, defeating the second-place finished by over two seconds.

Minerva’s Rowen Hoffee placed 13th in the event with a time of 4:33.24. Indian Valley’s Xander Heil clocked a time of 4:42.24 to finish 15th in the race.

Minerva senior Cleo Mueller advanced to the Division II long jump finals. She finished ninth on the day with a jump of 17′ 4.75″.

In the Division II girls 3,200 meter run, Hera Hoffee finished 15th and Hannah Ison placed 18th.

United senior Kaleb Nastari reminded everyone that he is not only the best in the state, but also in the nation.

The United senior broke his own Division III state record with a time of 1:48.31, which is also the current best time in the nation.

Nastari anchored United’s 4×400 relay which finished fourth in the state with a time of 3:25.01.

Fairless senior Brody Pumneo ended his career as a Falcon by winning the Division II state championship in the boys 800-meter run with a time of 1:53.03. He finished second in the event last season.

Salem finished well in the throwing events. Salem senior Makenna Rudy won the state championship in the girls shot put with a throw of 41′ 7.75″. Salem’s Kaylee Carlisle earned All-Ohio honors in the Division II girls discus throw with a toss of 120′ 10″.

Salem senior Ryan Kamperman placed sixth in the boys discus throw with a throw of 168′ 4″.

In the boys 3,200-meter run, two Marlington runners placed within the top 8, earning All-Ohio honors.

Marlington’s Nash Minor finished second in the event with a time of 9:26.45 and Michael Nicholls placed eighth with a time of 9:36.55.

Marlington’s Bella Graham placed third in the 3,200-meter girls race with a time of 11:12.38.