Liberty 4x800 relay team nabs All-Ohio honors

By Ben Stroup

June 6, 2014

Liberty’s boys 4x800 relay team simply picked up the pace as the season went on … and Friday’s final showing was no exception.

Seniors Brad Wiemels, Andrew Johnston and Josh Wojociechowski teamed up with sophomore Mitchell Towne to cap a stellar season in style at the OHSAA Division I Track and Field Championships at OSU’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, crossing the finish line in a school-record time of 7:47.62 — a mark good enough for fifth overall.

The effort was three seconds better than the previous school best, which the foursome set last week at regionals.

“They laid it all on the track,” Patriot coach Ryan Snivley said. “They all had either their best race, or equaled their best … I’m very proud of them, especially the three seniors who anchored the relay.”

Cincinnati St. Xavier, meanwhile, won the event with a Division I, state meet and Owens Stadium record of 7:36.33.

While their weren’t any other finals featuring Delaware County athletes, Friday’s D-I preliminary action featured plenty of local excitement as Olentangy senior Marinice Bauman and Big Walnut senior Jamie Annis authored solid showings to advance to today’s championship hurdle races.

Bauman absolutely cruised, winning her 300-meter hurdles prelim in 42.80 seconds — a mark nearly two seconds faster than all other runners, in either heat. Annis, meanwhile, closed second in her 100-meter hurdles prelim in 14.80 seconds — the fifth-fastest time among the eight qualifiers.

Friday also marked the end of solid seasons for a handful of local standouts as Hayes’ pair of speedsters, sophomore Ethan Tucky and senior Emily Richards, just missed qualifying for today’s finals. Tucky finished sixth in his 100-meter dash preliminary heat (10.90 seconds) while Richards closed fifth in her 400-meter prelim (59.39 seconds).

Olentangy’s girls 4x200 relay team also saw a successful spring come to an end as junior Emily Ginter, sophomore Maddy Bull, freshman Erin Wilt and Bauman finished seventh in their preliminary with a time of 1:44.52.

Today’s action is set to start at 9 a.m. with Division II field event finals, featuring Buckeye Valley pole vaulter Savannah Amato. Big Walnut long jumper Cole Stark will be a part of the second wave of events at noon — the Division I field event finals — while the Division I running finals featuring Wojociechowski (1,600), Johnston (3,200), Bauman (300 hurdles), Annis (100 hurdles) and Liberty junior Claire Wiles (1,600) are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.