The state championship track and field meet is just a few days away for Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy senior Tre Tucker and hundreds of other area athletes.

Tucker is unique in that he will be coming to Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium with multiple state titles to defend.

Tucker led the CVCA boys to the Division II state team title last year with firsts in the long jump (22-10½), 100 meters (10.78 seconds) and 800 relay (1:28.51), and a third in the 200 (22.0).

His postseason run this year includes four titles apiece at the Principals Athletic Conference championship meet, at the Bedford district meet and at the Austintown Fitch regional meet.

Tucker will try to surpass personal bests in the 100 (10.41 in Woodridge Wrap-Up), the 200 (21.32 in Austintown regional final) the 400 relay (42.82 in Austintown regional preliminary) and the long jump (23-7 at Walsh Jesuit John Hasenstab Warrior Relays).

“I am a four-time state qualifier, and I am grateful for that,” Tucker said. “Honestly, it is another business trip — let’s go down there and let’s do what we do all season long.”

Tucker, a University of Cincinnati football recruit, is entered in the Division II state meet in the long jump, 100, 400 relay and 200 on Friday. The running finals for his events are on Saturday.

“The season he has had has been incredible,” CVCA coach Craig Rupe said. “Tre started off in Medina in the first weekend of April and he dropped these times that were just incredible. From that point, we knew that we were in for a special season from him.

“Last year, he was the top sprinter in Division II, and now this year he has become one of the best sprinters of all time.

“Right now his times are compared to the likes of Robert Smith, Brandon Saine, Parris Campbell and all of these amazing sprinters that have gone through the state. Just seeing what he has been able to do his senior year as an encore performance has really exceeded my expectations, and they were pretty big after last year.”

Tucker’s 100 time at Woodridge caught every track and field fan’s attention.

“That was a cold, rainy day and he ran a 10.41, and that would have been the Division II state record, except Woodridge doesn’t have a wind gauge, so it is not official,” Rupe said. “The 10.41 is only three-hundredths off of the overall state record for all divisions.”

Rupe, a Maplewood High School (2004) and University of Akron (2009) graduate, coaches Tucker in the sprinting events, and Marcia Anderson is the long jump coach.

Tucker, a 3.0 student, grew up in Copley and Akron. He competed with the West Akron Track Club as a kid, attended Chapel Hill Christian School in Cuyahoga Falls for sixth grade, and has attended CVCA since seventh grade.

“It is pretty cool to be able to run with my teammates at the state meet,” Tucker said. “I get a feeling of excitement for the state meet.”

Junior Shane Douglas, junior Justin Luiza and senior Jay Patsch will join Tucker on CVCA’s 400 relay. The 1,600 relay for the Royals consists of senior Zack Venus, junior Brett Carroscia, Patsch and Luiza.

“The main thing that I have seen with our team is the improvement throughout the year,” Rupe said. “Early in the year, I didn’t totally know what we had. Obviously, we knew we had Tre Tucker, Jay Patsch and Justin Luiza as really strong returners, but we knew we needed more to be able to compete in the state level.

“... Senior Zack Venus has been a key part of our 4x4, and Brett Carroscia wasn’t even on our regional team last year and he has been a big part of the 4x4. Our 4x4 in general has taken huge strides and that has really been something that has rounded out the team.”

Michael Beaven can be reached at mbeaven@thebeaconjournal.com.