Area quartet earns All-Ohio in Division II
UL’s Sabinski finishes as state runnerup
COLUMBUS — As it pertained to field events in the area throughout the season, the quartet of Union Local’s Johnny Sabinski, St. Clairsville’s Karl Kain, Grant Swider and Perry Patrone have been seemingly at or near the top of the local results.
The area foursome’s talents weren’t just valley good. They proved themselves to be Ohio good, too.
All four garnered All-Ohio acclaim Friday morning at the opening day of the OHSAA Division II State Track and Field Championship Meet at the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of Ohio State University.
Sabinski became a two-time All-Ohioan in the shot put when he finished as state runnerup with a mark of 57-11 1/2.
“I am not really happy with my performance, but it’s really hard to complain about being a state runnerup,” Sabinski said shortly after receiving his silver medal.
Sabsinki had to battle back from a broken hand he suffered in a non high-school sports game. It cost him indoor season and he was cleared to resume throwing just before the Jets’ season-opening meet in March.
“After breaking my hand, I never even expected to be on the podium,” Sabinski admitted. “I just trained hard and it paid off.”
Sabinski’s weekend isn’t done. He will compete this morning in the discus where he’s the top seed with a toss of 180-feet in the regional last week.
“I have to recover, get some rest and be ready to go,” Sabinski said. “I think I have a good shot, but I realize I have to throw well.”
Patrone had been battling with Sabinski in both throwing circles all season and reached the state shot put for the second straight season and leaves with a medal for the first time.
He finished fifth with a mark of 56-5 1/2.
“I was expecting to (place) a little bit higher, but it was a really good competition, and I was able snap out of the slump I had been in,” Patrone said. “It’s been a good season. I was in a slump last year, too. I didn’t perform very well here (in 2022), so to get a place this year is exciting.”
Swider, who is signed to continue his jumping career at Marshall, made the most of his first and only trip to the state meet by finishing third.
The path to the bronze wasn’t easy by any means. Swider, who posted a mark of 21-11 in his final jump in the preliminary, was on the outside looking in for a spot in the final prior to his mark. As it worked out, it carried him all the way to the podium.
“I was super exciting coming (to the state) and I was coming off a regional performance that wasn’t as good as I would have liked it to have been,” Swider admitted. “I’ve really worked hard through the winter and into the outdoor season to get to where I am. I got to that last jump of the prelim round, and I knew I had to let loose and I was able to hit a good mark.”
Kain, similar to Patrone, was taking part in his second state meet in the pole vault, but didn’t place at the state meet a season ago, which served as motivation for him throughout the offseason and into the campaign.
“Last year, I think I got dead last,” Kain admitted. “So, I feel like I came in here as a darkhorse and really I was just worried about myself and getting as high as I could on the podium.”
Kain, who is signed with Youngstown State, soared over the bar at 14-8, which is a personal best for him and earned him fifth place, which is the exact place he earned at the indoor state meet in March.
“I think about all of the years I’ve jumped and practices I’ve had and ending (my high school career) on the podium is satisifying,” Kain said. “I still have a lot of work to do to get ready to compete at Youngstown. I want to be able to transition well into the Division I level.”
Along with the trio of All-Ohioans, several area athletes put themselves in position to medal in today’s championship finals.
St. Clairsville’s Emma Henry came into the state meet as the top seed and one of the favorites in both the 100 and 200 meter dashes.
The Red Devils junior speedster will enter the state championship race in both events once again as the top seed.
Henry posted a blazing 11.81 to lower her school record and pace the field by eight hundredths of a second.
She came back in the 200 and turned in a blistering 24.75, which was the top time by 12 hundredths of a second.
Buckeye Local’s brother and sister duo of Cai and Brynn McKeever qualified to run in today’s final.
Brynn — a junior sprinter — qualified to the state in three events and advanced in the 100 with a time of 12.36. She is the ninth seed.
Cai McKeever — a senior 400 specialist — ran a lap around the Jesse Owens facility in a solid 49.97 to advance as the fourth seed.
Union Local’s Josie Goodson is a state finalist for the first time in her career. She advanced in the 400 with a 58.37.
Steubenville senior hurdler Micah Mitchell was impressive in both the high and intermediates.
In the high hurdles, he posted an impressive 13.97 to set the pace by 26 hundredths of a second.
He then won his qualifying heat in the intermediates with a time of 39.06, which is the third best in the field today.
The Big Red boys 4×4 ran a speedy 3:23.07 to win its heat and qualify with the second-best time behind only Cleveland Glenville. The 4×2 also qualified with a 1:29.09.
The lone survivor in this division after the qualifying round is Bellaire junior Mayson Sochor, who has gotten to the state final of the 110 high hurdles for the first time in his career.
Sochor advanced with a solid 14.98 clocking. He’s the fifth seed, but the second through fifth seeds are separated by just nine hundredths of a second.