By Rob Kiser
COLUMBUS — Versailles senior Richie Ware had a goal in the Division III boys state track and field 800-meter run at Jesse Owens Stadium.
And in the end, Ware accomplished that — finishing his career on the podium with a sixth-place finish after a time of 1:57.77.
“I went out really fast,” Ware said. “I was feeling really good, right there after the first lap. I tried to hold on for second, but I just couldn’t do it. The cool weather probably allowed me to go out fast, but I like hotter weather.”
In the end, he achieved his goal.
“I had said all along, I wanted to get on podium at state and I was able to do that,” Ware said. “It is hard to believe this was my final race. I am still in shock. It probably on’t hit me until the first cross country race. This was a good way to end it.”
The Covington boys 400 relay team of Ethan Herron, Ben Miller, Shane Straw and Brandon Magee finished the season on the podium, finishing seventh in 44.68.
“That time is not good at all,” Magee, who ran the anchor leg, said. “We ran a faster time at the regionals.”
At the same time, they accomplished something Covington hadn’t in the previous two years.
Last year, A.J. Ouellette and Dalton Bordelon ran on the relay team before graduating.
“And the year before, we had Troy Cron,” Magee said. “I was not expecting this at all. To get up on the podium, that was an amazing feeling. We wanted to get Ben up there in his senior year.”
Neither Straw or Herron expected to finish their season on the podium.
“It was amazing to be able to run over here,” Straw said. “To get up on the podium was great.”
“This was a different environment,” he said. “It is exciting to run over here. It definitely raises our expectations for next year.”
Magee felt that way as well.
“We have really come a long way,” he said. “It is going to be tough to replace Ben (Miller), but I think we definitely expect to be back over here.”
Straw said there success was simple.
“We did (bond really well),” he said. “And we are all really good friends. I am really looking forward to next year.”
Miller’s bad luck from the regionals continued in the 300 hurdles.
He had originally finished ninth in 40.07, but was disqualified.
Lehman senior Teddy Jackson just missed the podium, finishing ninth in the 110 hurdles in 15.42.
“I really wanted to get on the podium, but I ran a terrible race,” he said. “I made it to championship day. Although, I have never been overwhelmed by this place. I always said I wanted to get to state in hurdles and I was able to do it this year.”
Houston’s Devon Jester finished an outstanding prep career by finishing 10th in the 3,200 in 9:38.18, just missing the podium.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.