By Rob Kiser
and Josh Brown
The Covington boys will be well represented at the Division III state track and field meet when it gets underway Friday morning at the Jesse Owens Stadium, with two individuals and a relay team.
Sophomore pole vaulter Jett Murphy has rebounded from a knee injury that cost him his entire freshman season and fulfilled the potential he showed in junior high.
Murphy, who will vault at 4 p.m. Friday, goes in with the fourth best qualifying height of 14-0.
“It was tough at first (coming back from the injury),” Murphy said. “Just because my form was so rough. It has gotten better as the season has gone on.”
Murphy took nothing for granted, despite his success in junior high.
“I don’t think that (success in junior high) means the same thing is going to happen (in high school),” Murphy said. “At the start of the year I wanted to get 14 (feet, the school record). Now, I have tied it, I want to go a little higher. Getting on the podium is definitely a goal.”
Covington boys track and field coach Kyle Moore agrees.
“Jett (Murphy) has done a great job coming back from the injury,” Moore said. “Coach Rhoades and coach Tobias have helped him a lot. I think he can do really well at state. I think top three would be a good goal for him.”
Sophomore Cade Harshbarger has the 15th fastest time in the 110 hurdles, 15.45; and 16th fastest time in the 300 hurdles, 40.79.
“To be honest, I never thought about state at the beginning of the year,” Harshbarger said. “I haven’t looked at the times, but I probably will. I didn’t like the 300s at the beginning of the year, but now I kind of like them. I think it helps having a race in before I run them. I think it will be pretty exhilarating running at Jesse Owens Stadium.”
Moore said Harshbarger has been rewarded for hard work.
“Coach Rench has had a hurdler at state every year,” Moore said. “Cade (Harshbarger) has shown tremendous improvement from a year ago. Obviously, he has put the time in during the off-season. He is capable of making the finals if he runs well.”
The 1,600 relay team of Zane Barnes, Brandon Magee, Jayce Pond, Nathan Lyle has the 12th fastest time of 3:28.73.
Magee is a senior, running at state for the third straight year.
Barnes and Pond are juniors and Lyle is a sophomore. They are running at state for the first time.
“I think it (his experience) is going to help me a lot,” Magee said. “And I think I can help the other guys with dealing with it (the atmosphere of a state meet). I have been through it and know what to expect.”
The last two years, Magee has run at state on the 400 relay team.
“To be honest, I didn’t see us going to state in this relay at the beginning of the year,” Magee said. “You just don’t want to do anything unusual. Just go out and run your race. The goal is to be running on Saturday (in the finals).
Moore knows they are capable of that.
“Both Cade (Harshbarger) and the relay team have a good chance to make finals,” Moore said. “Brandon (Magee) has been on a relay team at state all four years and ran his sophomore and junior years. He knows the drill. I think that is going help a lot and he will be able to keep the other guys calmed down and prepare them. Right now, it is about getting to the finals on Saturday.”
McBride looks for podium
Newton senior Brady McBride has the eighth fastest time in the 3,200 of 9:45.24.
As excited as McBride is for his final high school race, there are quite a few things he’ll miss.
“It’s definitely bittersweet to me,” the Newton senior said. “I’ve loved running for Newton. The town has been incredibly supportive. And my mom (Tiffany McBride) is my coach right now, so it’ll be my last time running for her. Yeah, it’s bittersweet.”
McBride will compete in the 3,200 at this weekend’s Division III state track and field meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus — the cross country specialist’s first time to state in track after finishing second in last week’s regional race.
“It’s definitely a special week,” McBride said. “It’s my first time ever going to state track, and it’s my last week running in high school, which makes it more special.”
And while McBride’s regional time of 9:45.24 is the eighth-best in the field going in, he knows not to pay too close attention to things like that.
“I’ve looked, but I don’t want to study them too much,” he said. “The race always plays out differently than it does on paper. Looking at it, I could finish anywhere from third to 12th, depending on the day. It’s wide open.”
And while this may be his first time at state track, it’s certainly not his first state experience.
“My goal is to get top eight, get all-state and get on the podium,” McBride said. “In cross country, I got eighth. To get all-state for a second time this year would be unbelievable.”
And make the end of his career a little more sweet than bitter.
Russia sends relay, York
The Russia 1,600 relay (Trevor Monnin, Jack Moorman, Caleb Ball, Weston Lavy) has the eighth fastest time of 3:27.04; while high jumper Josh York is tied for the eighth best jump of 6-3.
Everett to finish at state
Miami East senior Daniel Everett has the 15th best throw in the discus of 145-8.
Everett will be making his first state appearance after finishing third in the discus at the regional meet. He held the fourth and final qualifying spot going into the finals, but he let loose a new personal-best 145-8 to move up to third place.
His goal is to get into the 150s, with the Miami East school record sitting at 152-3. His regional throw is the 15th-best in the field going into the competition.
Versailles sophomore Josh Steinbrunner is back at the state meet, competing in the 110 high hurdles.
He has the 10th fastest qualifying time of 14.89, with nine runners advancing from Friday’s semifinals.