COLUMBUS — Water, water everywhere, so the saying goes. The rain, however, wasn’t enough to stop the running of the boys 4x200 meter relay at the OHSAA State Track and Field Championships at Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus.
The East Knox Bulldogs’ team of Colton Rebel, Dylan Wears, Levi Myers and anchorman Alex Casebolt took on 15 other teams in Friday’s semifinal. Unfortunately for their fans, it wasn’t enough to advance to today’s finals as East Knox finished 15th overall.
In a super-fast field, the Bulldogs knew it would take much more than the 1:33.07 that they ran in the regionals if they were going to have a chance in Friday’s first heat — especially with top qualifier Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph in the field.
“It was a real big adrenaline rush, just coming in the stadium,” said Wears. “It’s a whole different feeling. It’s a great experience.”
The rain slowed everyone down. The Bulldogs (1:34.55) ran nearly two seconds slower than their qualifying time. Even Villa Angela-St. Joseph, which finished first, was 1 1/2 seconds slower, running a 1:29.67. Despite the times, nobody blamed the rain.
“It’s a nice track,” said Myers. “It’s kind of wet, though. We had a big puddle in our land so it sucked. Getting here was fun. The rain didn’t really slow us down.”
Getting to the state, facing the very best, and giving it all they had was what the day was all about for the Bulldog quartet.
“It was wet,” said Rebel. “We tried as hard as we could, here at state. We got all the way here and that’s all that counts. There was a lot of good competition.”
The rain made not only the track slippery, but the baton as well. However, the Bulldogs had a clean run with no dropped handoffs on Ohio’s biggest stage for track and field.
“It was very exciting to be here,” said Casebolt. “I mean, it’s an honor going to state for track. Granted, it is pouring rain. We had water in every corner and water in the straightaways. It was hard to run in, but we tried and that’s all we can do.”
Even with moderate expectations, there was still some disappointment.
“We were realistic and we knew that, with the competition, we weren’t planning on winning anything,” said Wears. “We were planning on doing a little better than we did. We didn’t exactly run our best time but we still gave it our all. Just getting here was the goal. Not many people are able to say they got here — that’s an accomplishment in itself.”
For East Knox coach Jason Ewalt, getting this group of boys to state and seeing the effort they put in was very satisfying.