By Rob Kiser
TROY — It was the GWOC All-Star meet Friday night at Troy Memorial Stadium and all three Piqua athletes competing lived up to that billing.
Andy Mayse had a second-place finish in the boys 3,200 and seventh-place finish in the 400; while Tristen Cox was third in the shot put and fourth in the discus and Ashley Ho took second in the girls high jump.
Even Mayse’s fellow competitors in the 3,200 were amazed by his accomplishment of making the All-Star meet in the 400 and finishing seventh in 51.93.
Troy’s Steven Jones congratulated Mayse before Jones broke his own meet record in the 3,200 with a time of 9:16.94.
“That’s crazy,” he said to Mayse about the combination of the 400 and 3,200. “That’s faster than I ever ran it (the 400).”
It didn’t stop Mayse from having a big kick at the end of 3,200 to edge Ben Ewert of Beavercreek at the finish for second.
Mayse, who had set a school record of 9:31.92 in the 3,200 at the Wayne Invitational, bested that with a time of 9:30.37, .27 faster than Ewert.
“The kick is all about heart,” Mayse said with a smile. “I was hoping I had enough to get him. I think I just got him at the line. It is always good to get a school record.”
Mayse was coming off a first-ever win over Jones in the 1,600 Wednesday in the GWOC North meet Wednesday.
Mayse’s time was 4:20.24 to Jones 4:20.73.
“That had always been a goal (beating Steven Jones),” Mayse said. “I think I am within a couple seconds of the school record in the 1,600. That is definitely a goal at district.”
And Mayse likes where he is at heading into the district meet.
“I have really talked to my coaches about what I am going to run,” Mayse said. “I imagine it will be the 1,600 and 3,200. I have never gotten to the regional in track, so that would be good. If I make it in both, then I may have to look at dropping one at regional.”
Cox performed well in both his events.
Started in the discus, where he finished fourth with a distance of 145-10 on his third throw.
“I started a little slow,” Cox said. “But, I ended up getting a PR. You always think you could have thrown a little better than you did.”
In the shot put, Cox finished third after being in seventh place headed to the finals.
He uncorked a distance of 50-5 on his final put.
“Again, started a little slow,” he said. “I ended up getting PRs in both, so you can’t complain about that. I really like they way they do this, having the big meet Wednesday and then (eight guys) coming back tonight. It goes pretty quick.”
Cox is looking to get out of district next week.
“At the beginning of the year, the goal was to get to state,” he said. “As the season nears an end, you have more realistic goals. The goal is definitely to get to regionals. I am going to see a lot of these guys at district. Anything beyond making it to regionals would be a bonus.”
Ho, who like Mayse and Cox is a junior, ended up in a battle with Isabel Shey of Lebanon in the high jump.
They were the only two jumpers to clear 5-2, but Shey won by virtue of fewer misses.
Shey cleared 5-2 on her first attempt, while Ho had one miss at that height.
“I matched my PR,” Ho said. “So, I am pretty happy with the way I jumped. I was close on 5-4. My foot just caught the bar. I just have to keep working.”
Ho looked forward to the All-Star meet.
“It is (great to jump against the competition),” she said. “It pushes you to do better. I have jumped against her (Isabel Shey) three times this year. She is tough to beat. She has gotten me all three times.”
Now, Ho will prepare to defend her D-I district title at Wayne on Wednesday.
“I hope I can,” she said. “I know it will be tough.”
One thing is certain.
All three Piqua athletes go into district off “All-Star” performances.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.