By Bill Bray
FREMONT – 16 of our premiere track and field athletes are competing today and Friday in the Division I, Region 2 Track and Field meet at the Cooper Tire Stadium at Findlay High School.
Competing for a trip to the state meet today will be seniors Ethan Green in the discus competition, Easton Silva in the pole vault and Mckenna Englund and Lyndi Wolf in the high jump. The remainder of the athletes will be in preliminary events with finals continuing Friday. Also competing Friday will be Caroline Cahill in the discus, Anthony Vann is the high jump, Allison Taylor in the pole vault, Jadyn Rozzell in the long jump and Alex Menkhoff in the shot put.
Action will begin today at 4:30pm with the field events involving Green, Silva, Englund and Wolf.
The running events begin at 6:00pm. With the regional meet and continuing to Columbus, the events contested are on a strict time schedule. The events involving the Ross athletes are as follows:
6:00 pm – GIRLS 100-meter hurdles: McKenna Englund – Heat 1, Lane 6
6:10 pm – GIRLS 100-meter dash: Briana Morrisette – Heat 1, Lane 1
6:15 pm – GIRLS 4×200: Jadyn Rozzell, Jasmin Heidelburg, Englund, Morrisette –
Heat 2, Lane 3
6:55 pm – GIRLS 4×100: Rozzell, Englund, Allison Taylor, Morrisette –
Heat 1, Lane 7
7:00 pm – BOYS 4×100: Jadrian Brown, JD Moncrief, Ricky Howard III, James Kemp – Heat 2, Lane 2
7:40 pm – BOYS 200-meter dash: James Kemp –
Heat 2, Lane 7
Included in the Ross Contingent are five seniors who have carried the girl’s season this spring. McKenna Englund is a four-event regional qualifier, Jadyn Rozzell and Briana Morrisette are three-event regional qualifiers, Allison Taylor is competing in two events and Caroline Cahill is a regional qualifier in the discus.
Morrisette and Rozzell’s names are on the Ross record board already while the other three athletes have hopes and dreams of adding theirs.
As a freshman, Morrisette was part of the record setting 4×200 relay while Rozzell’s name graces the board with the long jump record that she set last season while under the tutelage of the late coach “House” Jones. Rozzell has been nearly a foot off her mark of 17’8” set at the district meet last season. “Honestly, a lot of it is a mental thing,” the record holder said. “Last year I didn’t have the jump until District, so I hope Regional is where it happens. And, we don’t have “House” this year. Honestly, I hate to say it, but that has played a big role, not having our long jump coach and our biggest supporter and motivator around with us.”
Morrisette has been plagued by a pulled groin muscle and now she deals with shin splints that she has fought through. Last season, she qualified for the running events, but she also was a regional qualifier in the long jump. This season she will miss out on the event but will be running in the 100 meters as well as the two sprint relays. “Honestly I want to help get the relays to state,” Morrisette said. “I think that is what we need to focus on and all we can really do.”
Caroline “Cal” Cahill will be competing Friday in the discus after a fourth-place finish at the district meet brings her to this point. Missing a year and a half, including the pandemic, Cahill feels as though her form has struggled to some extent. “Throwing is really a technical sport, so losing that year and then not getting to practice my form to be where I want to be now is obviously a big thing for me,” Cahill said. “I feel like if I would have had a normal high school experience, I would be a lot further along than I am now.”
The five were obviously affected by the missed season because they were told the track and weight room was closed and with that the motivation to practice was ‘not there’. “We could have practiced on our own,” Rozzell said. “But that is hard to do without people because I personally like working with people and we weren’t able to do that at all.”
So now the five athletes move on to the biggest meet of their careers with a chance to make the State Meet next week in Columbus. Taylor made that trip last season after a fourth-place finish at last season’s regional meet clearing 11’4”. The state meet was held at Hilliard Darby High School. Taylor finished 14th in her specialty. “I think the biggest thing in most sports is that people doubt themselves. You can’t do that going into the biggest part of the season. You have to have confidence in what you have been doing. That will pay off when it needs to.” This season Taylor has been over 12’ and is shooting for a leap of 12’6” that would give her the school record in the event.
All five, after trying their hardest to make state and finishing their high school careers on a high note, look forward to their futures.
Jadyn Rozzell will attend The Ohio State University to study Biomedical Engineering leaving her sports career behind. Cahill will be attending Tiffin University majoring in Political Science and continuing her volleyball career for the Dragons. Morrisette will attend Wright State university and majoring in nursing. She will continue her Track and Field career. Englund is staying closer to home attending the University of Toledo and is hoping to be on the track team for the Rockets. Taylor is heading east to attend Slippery Rock University to major in Petroleum and Natural Gas engineering and continuing her pole-vaulting career.