Note: This recap appears in the Sunday, June 2 newspaper on Page B1.
COLUMBUS — Justin Perry and Ethan Bohyer ended their Nelsonville-York track and field careers in style.
Perry and Bohyer each earned all-Ohio honors during Saturday’s Division III OHSAA State Track and Field Tournament.
Perry and Bohyer have both already graduated from Nelsonville-York High School, and they brought home all-Ohio medals from Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium to cap off their Buckeye careers.
“It was a great experience,” Bohyer said. “I learned a lot these four years. The work shows. You put in the work, you get the results.”
Perry earned a spot on the podium in both the 110 meter hurdles and the 300 meter hurdles, while Bohyer ran in the 400 meters.
“It feels great to be there,” Perry said, of the all-Ohio finish.
Perry began the day by finishing third in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 15.48 seconds.
The 110 hurdles has been Perry’s signature event and he didn’t disappoint.
He posted a time of 15.20 seconds during Friday’s prelims to advance to the finals.
“The 110s, I came in seeded third,” Perry said. “I got third, which feels great to be up there.”
Perry was beaten only by state champion Connor Kerr from Mogadore (15.11 seconds) and Mount Gilead’s Connor Page (15.21 seconds).
Perry was ahead of fourth-place Jaret Hahn of United, who completed the race in 15.50 seconds.
Perry was able to bask in the glory of the podium after his third-place finish, but his day wasn’t done. He had a little more than an hour before taking the track again for the 300 hurdles.
“I just went over and talked to my parents about the 110s,” Perry said. “Just gathered my thoughts and warmed up and ran again.”
Perry had the final qualifying time from Friday’s regionals, putting him in lane nine for the 300 meter hurdles. He said it was important not to focus on everyone around him, as he had to deal with the wide turn.
“I just had to run my race,” Perry said. “Don’t think about anyone behind me because I knew they were going to catch me (in the turn). I just ran my race and it worked. Happy with it.”
Perry’s time was 39.92 seconds, better than his time of 40.47 seconds in Friday’s prelims.
The bump up in time allowed him to place sixth.
“Yesterday, my mind set was just to qualify,” Perry said. “Today, I knew I had to run as hard as I can to get on the podium.”
Africentric senior Anthony Tyler won the Division III state title with a time of 38.73 seconds, followed by Kerr (39.10), Cedarville’s Trey Gruet (39.50), Newton Local’s Cameron Stine (39.69) and Hiland’s Brayden Gray (39.87).
Perry will now compete collegiately for Lipscomb University with a pair of all-Ohio finishes under his belt.
Bohyer was able to finish his career with a personal-best time in the 400 meters.
He set a new PR with a time of 49.86 seconds to finish in fourth place. It was the first time Bohyer had ever broken the 50-second barrier.
“I said, ‘everything I’ve got the last hundred yards,’” Bohyer said. “I can’t even see. Kept going and it said 49 (seconds). That’s all I wanted. I was happy. Can’t ask for anymore.”
Bohyer was making his first appearance in the state track and field meet. He’s steadily progressed in the event to the point that he is now an all-Ohioan.
“It was great,” Bohyer said of his career. “My freshman and sophomore year I didn’t even know what hard work was. Kind of an average guy. Really, it’s thanks to the coaches, Steven Ragg, Noah Watkins, they showed me how. Had my running partners — Garrett Maiden — and we just did it.”
Bohyer ran in 50.14 seconds during Friday’s prelims to advance. He started in lane three on Saturday.
“I knew if I was there with them at the turn, I was going,” Bohyer said.
New Middletown Springfield’s Garrett Walker won the 400 state title at 49.25 seconds. Tri-Village’s Austin Bruner was second at 49.47 seconds, followed by River’s Cooper Brown (49.48 seconds).
Bohyer was able to finish just ahead of Eastern’s Noah Browning. He was fifth at 50.10 seconds. Bohyer and Browning have battled in the 400 all postseason.
“It felt great,” Bohyer said. “Now my whole life I can say I was a 49-(second) runner.”
Nelsonville-York junior Keegan Wilburn and sophomore Courtnee Heskett each finished ninth in Division III in their events on Saturday.
Wilburn ran in the 100 meter final and posted a time of 11.48 seconds. He just missed the podium, as Youngstown Valley Christian School’s Brandon Paige was eighth at 11.44 seconds.
Wilburn was able to qualify for Saturday’s finale thanks to his run on Friday. He had a time of 11.26 seconds to advance to the finals.
Wellsville junior Justin Wright won the state title at 10.69 seconds. Kalida’s Josh Verhoff was second at 10.97 seconds.
Southeastern’s Lane Ruby finished third at 11.16 seconds.
Heskett ran in the Division III 200 meters and posted a final time of 26.53 seconds.
She also just missed a spot on the podium, as eighth place went to Hillsdale’s Jordan Taylor. Her time was 26.51 seconds.
Heskett made her state track and field debut on Friday and ran a 26.02 in the prelims.
Heskett had the 18th time out of 18 runners across the state based off her regional performance. However, Heskett stepped up to the plate and had the sixth-best qualifying time on Friday to continue her season to the final day.