COLUMBUS — The Ohio High School Athletic Association will conduct its inaugural 7th and 8th Grade Track and Field State Championships on May 13 of next year, OHSAA Commissioner Dr. Dan Ross has announced.
The event, which has been discussed for several years by the OHSAA’s Middle School Committee, was officially approved by the OHSAA Board of Directors at its October meeting.
Qualifying standards and state qualifiers will be coordinated through an online process at www.BaumsPage.com, with the one-day state championships set for Lancaster High School. Any running event time must be obtained at a regular-season meet using fully automated timing, and field events must be certified by an OHSAA licensed official.
The top 16 performers in each event will qualify for the state championships. If a top 16 qualifier cannot attend, the next student-athlete on the performance list will be invited until 16 qualifiers are confirmed.
“Many people might not know that the OHSAA oversees 7th and 8th grade sports, too, for member junior high schools,” Dr. Ross said. “We have been looking at ways to expand our involvement with middle schools and expand opportunities for them to get involved in a tournament setting. This will accomplish both of those goals and show them that when they compete in an OHSAA tournament event, ideals like sportsmanship, respect and camaraderie are the most important lessons to be learned.”
The 7th and 8th grade track and field state championships will become the second event the OHSAA has introduced for middle school students. The OHSAA Middle School Cross Country Invitational in October has been held for the last four years.
The online qualifying process will be very similar to the one used for seated athletes who qualify for the OHSAA track and field state championships.