WAPAKONETA — Sometimes a change in the routine can be a good thing.
Thursday’s Wapakoneta Redskin Relays at Harmon Field provided that relief from the daily routine for some area high school track-and-field athletes.
For Shawnee senior sprint standout Christian Ford, it was an opportunity to compete with more teammates.
Ford is coming off a stellar winter indoor track-and-field season in which he finished third in the 200 meters (21.66 seconds) and fifth in the 60 meters (6.97).
Last spring at the state outdoor meet at Ohio State, Ford placed fifth in the 200 meters.
Thursday night, Ford competed in the 800-meter relay, 400-meter relay, 1,600-meter relay and the sprint medley relay.
“Honestly, I love it,” Ford said about running all relays on Thursday night. “I like working with my team and not just worrying about myself. It makes you feel better when you know someone is counting on you.”
Elida junior KeShawn Spivey also enjoyed the unconventional format Thursday night. Spivey, who won the Division II/III state title in the 60-meter hurdles at the state indoor meet in early March, was the main cog of the Elida 110-meter shuttle crew Thursday night that placed fourth.
“It’s really an enjoyable time,” Spivey said. “It’s different than running in the other meets.”
Spivey, a state qualifier in the 110-meter hurdles at last spring’s state meet, also is becoming one of the area’s best long jumpers. Heading into Thursday’s competition, Spivey’s personal best in the long jump was 20 feet, 5 inches. Thursday was just his fourth meet of the season in which he long jumped. He also is doing the high jump for the Bulldogs. Spivey jumped 19-7 on Thursday.
Spivey’s teammate, senior Arzaiah Little, is new to the sport of track and field. Little is heading to the University of St. Francis next school year to play football.
On Thursday, Little was a big part of Elida’s 400- and 1,600- meter relays.
Little figured that running track his final year of high school could definitely help develop his speed. So far this season, Little has a personal best of 11.2 seconds in the 100 and 22.68 seconds in the 200.
“My freshman and sophomore years, I definitely needed to lift for football to get bigger,” Little said. “By my junior year, I needed to do something else. I just have to work on my form and do what I need to do to get better (in the sprints).”
In the final team standings Thursday night, Marysville and Anna shared the girls’ title, each scoring 83 points. Defiance finished third (68), while Ottawa-Glandorf was fourth (57). Shawnee and Elida tied for fifth (51), while New Haven (Indiana, 35) and Wapakoneta (33) rounded out the eight-team field.
On the boys’ side, Anna (87) slipped past New Haven (80) for the team title. Marysville finished third (58), while Shawnee was a close fourth (57). Defiance (55), Elida (52), O-G (46) and Wapakoneta (30) rounded out the rest of the field.
In one of the rarest of events for high school track, the 6,400-meter relay took place Thursday night. Each team had four runners that each ran 1,600 meters.
On the boys’ side, Defiance was challenged early, but made a hard run in the final two legs to come away with the victory.
Junior Mhalicki Bronson ran a 4-minute, 34-second split to help Defiance pull away for the win.
Bronson came back later on and recorded a 4:27 split in the distance medley to help Defiance win that event as well. Bronson was the Western Buckeye League cross country champion this past fall. He was an all-Ohio performer in Division I cross country two years ago.
“Tonight, I was just running under control, because I still have a lot of meets ahead of me,” Bronson said. “I kind of settled in a little bit. Then, I kicked it up a little bit toward the end.”
Bronson has his sights set on the postseason run.
“I’ll probably run the one (1,600 meters) and two (3,200 meters) until districts. Then, I’ll probably just stick with the two,” Bronson said.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.