State track meet: Botkins’ Aleah Johnson wins D-III girls discus


Johnson captures individual state title with a throw of 137-5

By Bryant Billing - [email protected]



Anna’s Lenna Rowland throws a discus during the Division III state track meet on Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Rowland finished eighth in the event and earned a podium spot.

Anna’s Lenna Rowland throws a discus during the Division III state track meet on Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Rowland finished eighth in the event and earned a podium spot.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Fairlawn's Abbey Swearingen runs her part of the 4x400 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Fairlawn's Addison Swearingen runs the 400 meter dash in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Anna's Ben McDermott competes in the 4x200 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Anna's Brandon Axe competes in the 4x200 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Houston's Emilee Earl competes in the pole vault in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie's Frank Rethman competes in the 400 meter dash in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Minster's Guy Weigandt competes in the 4x200 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Minster's Joseph Slonkosky competes in the 4x400 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Fairlawn's Julianna Clayton hands-off the baton to Haley Cox during the 4x400 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Anna's Justin Richards competes in the 4x200 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Anna’s Justin Richards competes in the 100-meter dash during the Division III state track meet on Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Richards qualified for Saturday finals in the 100 dash, as well as a member of the 4x100 and 4x200 relays.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Lehman Catholic’s Kiersten Franklin competes in the 100-meter dash during the Division III state track meet on Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Franklin qualified for final races on Saturday in the 100, 200 and 400 dash.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie's Riley Heitkamp pole vaults in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie's Trey Ranly competes in the 4x400 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Anna's KaitlynHarris competes in the 4x100 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins’ Aleah Johnson throws a discus during the Division III state track meet on Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Johnson finished first with a throw of 137-5 to earn an individual state title.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

COLUMBUS — Practicing for discus isn’t the social opportunity other sports are. Botkins senior Aleah Johnson has found that out during her high school career.

Their was no threat of loneliness on Friday. With about 30 people cheering her on in the discus area across the street from Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of Ohio State, Johnson earned an individual state title.

Johnson finished first in girls discus with a throw of 137 feet, 5 inches to earn an individual state title during the Division III state track and field meet. Her throw was over six feet farther than Margaretta’s Jennifer Patrick, who finished second.

Johnson finished second in discus last year and finished second with a throw of 132-9.

“It feels so good,” Johnson said. “I’m so happy about it. …A lot of practice, a lot of time with just me and my coach. That’s what’s gotten me here today, me and my coaches.”

All Division III field finals were held Friday. Some track finals were held, along with preliminary races. The remaining track finals will be held Saturday in Columbus.

Johnson threw 133-10 on her first throw, which put her in first place after the two preliminary flights for finals.

She threw 127-1 and 130-10 on her final two throws in the preliminary, then threw 123-9 in her first throw of the final flight.

She came up with her big throw on her second try in the final flight.

“I was trying some different things to see what I could get to go out,” Johnson said. “That eventually led to what I was good with and what I knew how to do, and that’s what got me to 137.”

Johnson wasn’t the only Shelby County athlete who competed in discus. Anna senior Lenna Rowland qualified for the final flight and earned a podium finish by finishing eighth. Her best throw of the day was 121-2.

“That definitely helped me push myself,” Johnson said. “We’ve had some go-arounds, where we go back and forth. Her being here was great, having another competitor with me.”

Johnson — and her large contingent of fans — weren’t done after discus. She also qualified for state in shot put and was scheduled to begin competing in the event at 4 p.m. The event had not concluded before press time.

“It’s definitely a big crowd today,” Johnson said. “Hearing my name called right before I go into the ring definitely gives me a big boost of energy.”

Fort Loramie’s Kemper to compete in pole vault

Fort Loramie senior Gavin Kemper was scheduled to competed in the boys pole vault finals on Friday evening. The event was not complete by press deadline.

Lehman Catholic’s Franklin, Fairlawn’s Addison Swearingen qualify for finals races

Lehman Catholic senior Kiersten Franklin and Fairlawn sophomore Addison Swearingen each qualified for Saturday finals by finishing in the top nine in preliminary races on Friday.

Franklin finished first in the 100-meter dash preliminary in 12.08, edging out Margaretta’s Kenna Stimmel, who was second in 12.09. Swearingen was fourth in 12.41.

Franklin finished second in the 400 dash in 58.25 and Swearingen finished fourth in 58.43.

Franklin also finished third in the 200 dash in 25.04. She won a state title in the 200 last year.

“I had enough time between the 400 and 200 today,” Franklin said. “I am hoping to have a little more of a break Saturday. Definitely, the goal is more than one state title.”

Anna’s Richards qualifies for finals in 2 relays, 100 dash

Anna junior Justin Richards earned state final berths in multiple events.

Richards finished second in the 100 dash in 10.98. He also ran anchor on Anna’s 4×100 relay and 4×200 relay and helped the squad earn berths in finals for both events on Saturday.

The relay of Brandon Axe, Xavier McEldowney, Ben McDermott and Richards finished third in the 4×100 in 47.76. The same four finished sixth in the 4×200 in 1:31.24.

Richards was scheduled to compete in boys long jump at 4 p.m. on Friday. The event was not completed by press deadline.

Anna girls qualify for finals, Wolters reaches podium

Anna’s 4×100 relay of Tanner Spangler, Gabrielle Myers, Ashley Bertke and Kaitlyn Harris finished second in 49.64 to qualify for Saturday’s final. They were edged by Margaretta, which finished first in 49.52.

Anna senior Lauryn Wolters earned a spot on the podium by finishing eighth in long jump with a leap of 17-2.5.

Bertke was scheduled to compete in high jump at 4 p.m. The event was not completed by press deadline.

Fort Loramie’s Heitkamp reaches podium

Fort Loramie senior Riley Heitkamp earned a spot on the podium in girls pole vault. She finished seventh.

Heitkamp cleared 9-0, 9-6, 10-0 and 10-6 on her first tries. She cleared 11-0 on her third try to earn a podium spot.

Minster girls qualify for finals in 4×400 relay

Minster’s 4×400 relay of Cameo Cedarleaf, Lillian Barhorst, Keri Heckman and Taylor Roth finished fourth in 4:05.68 in Friday’s preliminary race to qualify for Saturday’s finals.

Anna’s Lenna Rowland throws a discus during the Division III state track meet on Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Rowland finished eighth in the event and earned a podium spot.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/06/web1_LennaRowland-2.jpgAnna’s Lenna Rowland throws a discus during the Division III state track meet on Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Rowland finished eighth in the event and earned a podium spot. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Fairlawn’s Abbey Swearingen runs her part of the 4×400 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/06/web1_AbbeySwearingen4x400-2.jpgFairlawn’s Abbey Swearingen runs her part of the 4×400 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Fairlawn’s Addison Swearingen runs the 400 meter dash in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/06/web1_AddisonSwearingen400MDash-2.jpg Fairlawn’s Addison Swearingen runs the 400 meter dash in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Anna’s Ben McDermott competes in the 4×200 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/06/web1_BenMcDermott4x200relay-2.jpgAnna’s Ben McDermott competes in the 4×200 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Anna’s Brandon Axe competes in the 4×200 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/06/web1_BrandonAxe4x200Relay-2.jpgAnna’s Brandon Axe competes in the 4×200 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Houston’s Emilee Earl competes in the pole vault in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/06/web1_EmileeEarl-2.jpg Houston’s Emilee Earl competes in the pole vault in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie’s Frank Rethman competes in the 400 meter dash in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/06/web1_FrankRethman400mDash-2.jpgFort Loramie’s Frank Rethman competes in the 400 meter dash in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Minster’s Guy Weigandt competes in the 4×200 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/06/web1_GuyWeigandt4x200-2.jpgMinster’s Guy Weigandt competes in the 4×200 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Minster’s Joseph Slonkosky competes in the 4×400 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/06/web1_JosephSlonkosky4x400-2.jpgMinster’s Joseph Slonkosky competes in the 4×400 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Fairlawn’s Julianna Clayton hands-off the baton to Haley Cox during the 4×400 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/06/web1_JuliannaClaytonHaleyCox4x400-2.jpgFairlawn’s Julianna Clayton hands-off the baton to Haley Cox during the 4×400 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Anna’s Justin Richards competes in the 4×200 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/06/web1_JustinRichards4x200Relay-2.jpgAnna’s Justin Richards competes in the 4×200 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Anna’s Justin Richards competes in the 100-meter dash during the Division III state track meet on Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Richards qualified for Saturday finals in the 100 dash, as well as a member of the 4×100 and 4×200 relays.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/06/web1_JustinRichards100Dash-2.jpgAnna’s Justin Richards competes in the 100-meter dash during the Division III state track meet on Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Richards qualified for Saturday finals in the 100 dash, as well as a member of the 4×100 and 4×200 relays. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Lehman Catholic’s Kiersten Franklin competes in the 100-meter dash during the Division III state track meet on Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Franklin qualified for final races on Saturday in the 100, 200 and 400 dash.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/06/web1_KierstanFranklin100Dash-2.jpgLehman Catholic’s Kiersten Franklin competes in the 100-meter dash during the Division III state track meet on Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Franklin qualified for final races on Saturday in the 100, 200 and 400 dash. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie’s Riley Heitkamp pole vaults in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/06/web1_RileyHeitkamp-2.jpgFort Loramie’s Riley Heitkamp pole vaults in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Fort Loramie’s Trey Ranly competes in the 4×400 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/06/web1_TreyRanly4x400-2.jpgFort Loramie’s Trey Ranly competes in the 4×400 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Anna’s KaitlynHarris competes in the 4×100 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/06/web1_KaitlynHarris4x100-2.jpgAnna’s KaitlynHarris competes in the 4×100 meter relay in division III state track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus on Friday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins’ Aleah Johnson throws a discus during the Division III state track meet on Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Johnson finished first with a throw of 137-5 to earn an individual state title.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/06/web1_AleahJohnson-2.jpgBotkins’ Aleah Johnson throws a discus during the Division III state track meet on Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Johnson finished first with a throw of 137-5 to earn an individual state title. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News
Johnson captures individual state title with a throw of 137-5

By Bryant Billing

[email protected]

Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.

Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.