COLUMBUS — The Elyria High boys 4x100 isn’t easily rattled. The semifinal performance at the Division I state track meet Friday drove home the point.
Despite a 3-hour, 40-minute rain delay and being seeded in lane No. 7, Elyria showed it was more than capable. The quartet of senior Jayvion Benton, senior Aaron Frost, junior Adaveon Drummer and senior Tayvion Benton won its semifinal in a season-best 42.45 as it held off Lakota West (42.47).
Elyria is the No. 3 seed in today’s final behind Massillon Washington (41.85) and Strongsville (42.45), the top two finishers in the other semifinal.
“Our third leg did an awesome job,” Jayvion Benton said of Drummer. “That’s the best he’s ever done. We’re not going to get too big a head here, but I told him that we are going to transfer everything that we did tonight here and bring it tomorrow and bring this title back to Elyria.”
Due to thunderstorms in the area, the Elyria relay didn’t compete until almost 10 p.m. instead of the originally scheduled 6:10. The storms halted the meet at 3:10, and action didn’t resume until 6:50.
The rain delay didn’t faze the Pioneers. Not one bit.
“I’m not too surprised with how well we ran because I could see how tired some of our opposition looked coming off the 4x200,” Jayvion Benton said. “We knew that we still had enough energy to keep our minds right. Our main focus coming into tonight was to make finals. Now our main focus is to bring back a state title.”
Last year, Elyria High’s 4x100 entered the state meet as the No. 3 seed (42.07), but finished seventh (42.50) in the finals.
“Handoffs are everything,” Jayvion Benton said. “Our stickwork was great.”
Not to be overshadowed, the Elyria 4x200 advanced to today’s finals as the No. 8 seed. The quartet of senior Sinquae Grant, Jayvion Benton, Frost and Tayvion Benton clicked for a Lorain County-record 1:28.16, breaking the 1:28.4 set by Elyria in 1970 and tied by Elyria in 1976.
“With the 4x200 we worked on our final three steps before the exchanges this week,” Jayvion Benton said. “Before we slowed down but today we progressed all the way through. We did everything right today.”
It’s believed the Elyria boys reached state in the 4x200 for the first time since 1976.
“I’m just happy that we’re all just performing better,” Tayvion Benton said. “If we can execute like that tomorrow we’ve got a shot. I’m proud of us.”
So what did the Elyria High boys talk about for all that time during the rain delay?
“We just sat, talked to each other about our race, our two jobs (the two relays) and what we need to be doing,” Jayvion Benton said. “We just needed to fulfill our roles.”
For the most part it was a very good evening for Lorain County.
Amherst senior Taylor Hooks earned the No. 7 seed for the 100 final as she clocked 12.28 and was third in her heat. Hooks scratched from her 200 semi heat.
“I felt good about my race but I had felt my hamstring a little bit towards the end of the 100,” Hooks said. “It still felt a little bit tight so I took myself out of the 200, but I’m looking forward to running in the 100 finals for the first time.”
Avon senior Elizabeth Flynn also ran well in the 100, but just missed the ninth and final qualifying berth by 0.05 as she ended up 10th (12.53).
Avon Lake junior Danny Lambert was seeded only No. 10 (22.11), but clocked a personal record (21.96) as he qualified for today’s 200 final as the No. 7 seed. Not bad for running out of lane No. 8.
“I’ve been training all week from that lane preparing,” he said. “I felt strong there. I think that’s one of my best races this year. I’m happy with what I did. I had nothing to lose coming into this.”
The Avon girls 4x400 squeaked into the final as the No. 9 seed in 3:58.36. Evelyn Pelfrey, Jules Frombach along, sophomore Gaby Enourato and Juliet Goodelle beat out Twinsburg (3:58.66) for the last qualifying spot. Twinsburg entered the meet as the No. 2 seed (3:50.06).
A three-time All-Ohio over the last two years for Sandusky Perkins, Lorain junior Da’Quise Clinton (49.68) missed the 400 final by 0.22.
In Division II, Vermilion senior Addison Painter was 18th in the boys 300 hurdles (40.73). Painter was an at-large state qualifier after taking fifth at the Lexington regional in 39.88.
- High school track and field: Elyria boys 4x200 relay made Lorain County history at state, breaking 49-year-old record
- Divisions II and III state track and field: Vermilion's Macy Urig soars to third place in pole vault after slow start
- Division I state track and field: Avon Lake's Danny Lambert and Justin Wirtz top expectations; Elyria's boys 4x200 takes fourth