A lot of track and field coaches and athletes focus a bulk of their attention on doing well at the district level and beyond. But competing and doing well in league meets can for some be even more rewarding because only the best of the best are capable of competing deep into May and early June.
The Madison County tracksters who compete at London, Madison-Plains and West Jefferson were able to spread their wings and fly high at the Mid-State League Ohio Division championships this spring and the league recognized those individuals recently, awarding all-league honors to the top three finishers in each event.
London (71 points, fifth), Madison-Plains (28, seventh) and West Jefferson (26.5, eighth) all finished in the bottom half of the league meet standings, but there were plenty of individuals who were honored with All-MSL selections.
The Red Raiders’ Kali Boyd, a senior, was all league in the high jump (first) and the pole vault (third), while fellow senior Jenn Darling was All-MSL in shot put (third), as was freshman Mikayla Martinez in pole vault (second).
Senior Sarra Taylor was all-league in two events the 3,200 (first) and 1,600 (second). She also won the district in the 1,600 and went on to make the award’s podium at the Division II state championship meet at Ohio State University on June 7.
The London program is going to miss the graduation of the most decorated runner in school history.
“Obviously, the program is going to miss her tremendous talent,” London coach Andy Crawford said. “But I think what it will miss more is the way she raised the expectations of the program and everyone affiliated with it. You could feel it every time she ran. When she led off a relay, we knew we were going to be in first when she handed off the baton.
“Whenever she ran in a big meet, we knew we were going to score big points in the distance events. We knew that London track and field was going to be a factor all the way into June. It was inevitable. There was a rock-steadiness about Sarra that rubbed off on everyone around her, teammates and coaches alike, and that’s what is going to be the most difficult thing to replace.”
Taylor, Maddie Martinez, McLaren Rogerson and Mikayla Martinez were all members of the all-league 3,200 relay team (third).
The Roughriders Claire Sterling earned all-league honors for her finish in the high jump (third).
The bottom three schools in the MSL Ohio boys track and field standings all came from Madison County, with West Jefferson (sixth, 56 points), London (seventh, 34.5) and Madison-Plains (eighth, 18) all bringing up the rear.
The Golden Eagles’ lone all-league award winner was junior Connor Cooler who placed first in the discus.
London seniors Dage Spinning (first) and Kyle Riegel (second) in the pole vault were the honorees for the Red Raiders.
West Jeff got all-league performances from Mitch Denes in long jump (third), Austin Bare (second) and Ilya Peshko (third) in the high jump and Bare again in the 400 (third).
Just how tough is the MSL Ohio Division in the sports of boys tennis? Well considering five of the eight players that were named first team all-league and another who was on the second-team all qualified for the D-II state tournament speaks volumes on how strong it truly is.
There were no Madison County players on the first-team all-league squad, but London’s Jack Spahn, a senior, earned second-team honors. Senior teammate Kyle Weese and West Jefferson’s Jimmy Foster received recognition as honorable mention picks.
Chris Miles can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 18 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.