COLUMBUS — Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy senior Tre Tucker opened up his final high school track and field meet in style on Friday morning.
Tucker stood atop the podium for the second year in a row as a Division II state boys long jump champion at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium after his winning jump of 23-3½.
“I am grateful, I am humbled and I thank God for everything because that is who I put No. 1,” Tucker said. “It is cool being back on the top of the podium. I think once you are on top your junior year there is no going back down. I worked hard all year long and came back on top again.”
Tucker, a University of Cincinnati football recruit, was happy to surpass 23 feet in Columbus after taking first last year at 22-10½. His personal-best long jump is 23-7, accomplished earlier this season at the Walsh Jesuit John Hasenstab Warrior Relays.
“Tre just went in so calm and cool,” CVCA boys coach Craig Rupe said. “George Hallis, our girls coach, was eating breakfast with him this morning and he was the most calm and relaxed you would ever see, which is not a common trait for someone at their state meet, but Tre is here for the fourth year so we knew we had a big advantage with that from the start.
"Being here and knowing the board, knowing how it works and knowing when to get up a little bit earlier than normal helps. He went out and did exactly what he always does. He has great jumps, executes perfectly and puts the pressure on everybody else.”
Royals jumps coach Marcia Anderson said Tucker’s “power” and “strength” help him separate from the pack.
“He is extremely coachable,” Anderson said. “Whatever you say, he executes. He is probably one of the only athletes I have known that has been very consistent on his run. That is probably 90 percent of long jumping.”
Tucker's victory on Friday came before a delay that stretched for over three hours in the afternoon, and caused the Division I meet to end after 10:30 p.m.
Tucker also advanced to Saturday’s finals in three running events after posting top preliminary times in the 100 meters (10.67), the 400 relay (42.61) and the 200 (21.70). Junior Shane Douglas, junior Justin Luiza and senior Jay Patsch joined Tucker in the 400 relay.
Tucker led CVCA to a Division II boys team state title last year in Columbus with firsts in the long jump, the 100 (10.78) and 800 relay (1:28.51), and a third in the 200 (22.0).
Irish finish second
St. Vincent-St. Mary finished second in the Division II girls 3,200 relay with a time of 9:26.13. Chagrin Falls won the race in 9:18.20.
The Irish runners were sophomore Theresa Hagey, sophomore Emily Bame, junior Natalie Tobin and senior Nina Zraik.
Fourth for Bulldogs
Woodridge took fourth in the Division II boys 3,200 relay as sophomore Caden Hibbs, junior Micah Blair, senior Brayden Whited and senior Ryan Kiley posted an 8:00.26.
Shelby was first in 7:45.15.
More 3,200 results
Medina took fifth in the Division I girls 3,200 relay in 9:04.0 with senior Carmela Henning, juniors Jessica Campbell and Juliette Keller and sophomore Valerie Suttman. Thomas Worthington won in 8:55.85.
Hudson finished ninth in the Division I boys 3,200 relay in 7:52.86 with seniors Lucas Lay, Adam Beucler and Evan Manley joining junior Luke Good. Pickerington Central won in 7:42.68.
Three Buchtel girls relays advanced to the Division II finals on Saturday.
The Griffins posted top preliminary times on Friday night in the 800 relay (1:41.41) with senior Dyamond Myers, sophomore Nevaeh Lewis, senior London Green and senior Rayannah Torrence; and in the 400 relay (48.52) with junior Drew Oliver, Lewis, Green and Myers.
The 1,600 relay (3:59.80) ran the second-best prelim time with freshman DaMya Barker, senior Dana Beasley, Torrence and Myers.
Twinsburg’s 800 girls relay had the top prelim time in Division I (1:39.5) with junior Alyssa Willis and seniors Julia Henderson, Nya Bussey and Nia Robinson.
Robinson also had the top 400 prelim time (55.84), Bussey advanced in the 100 and 200, and the 1,600 relay of senior Mariah Myles, Henderson, Bussey and Robinson had not taken the track before press time.
Massillon senior Maria Welch and Canton McKinley senior Clayton Tabler each completed a Division I preliminary hurdles event in 14.42 seconds to advance.
Welch posted her 14.42 in the girls 100 hurdles and Tabler ran his 14.42 in the boys 110 hurdles.
Around the stadium
• Placing fourth were Coventry senior Austin Hinzman (Division II boys long jump, 21-6½), Field senior Cortney Currey (Division II girls discus, 128-3) and Rootstown senior Logan Carpenter (Division III, boys discus, 162-9).
• Manchester junior Janiece France was fifth in the Division II girls high jump (5-4).
• Mogadore senior Connor Kerr had the top prelim time in the Division III boys 110 hurdles (14.91,) and the third-best time in the 300 hurdles (39.87).
• Coventry junior Damian Jackson ran the second-best Division II boys 110 hurdles prelim time (14.69).
Michael Beaven can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.