By Steve Keenan
Jonathan Gore has some unfinished business with the state track and field meet.
The Fayetteville High senior has been one of the top Class A boys sprinters and long jumpers the past three seasons, but he’s yet to stand atop the state meet victor’s podium.
“My goal is to get the gold,” Gore said Thursday during the Class A Region 3 championship meet at UC Stadium’s Laidley Field. “I’m a senior, and I’ve been in the top three.”
As a junior, he was actually second in the 100-meter dash in state competition, placed third in the 200 and was fifth in the long jump. As a sophomore, he placed third in both of the dashes.
On Thursday, Gore hammered out front-running victories in the 100 (11.70 seconds) and 200 (23.19) and also captured top honors with a personal best distance of 21 feet, 4 inches in the long jump. He registered his winning leap with his first preliminary jump, which left him “pretty excited,” before he passed on the remaining two jumps in the opening round.
To finally break through this week, Gore said he needs to “just get my height” in the long jump and, in the sprints, he says, “I just need a better start.”
The Richwood Lumberjacks swept the team championships Thursday. The girls claimed their fourth consecutive region title, piling up 199 points to get by second-place Sherman (107) and the rest of the field. The Richwood boys repeated as team champs with 139 points, while Midland Trail was a solid second with 106 points.
Distance runner Breanna Mazzella, who — like Gore — has her sights set on improvement in her state meet standing, helped spearhead the Richwood effort, posting winning times of 12 minutes, 21.98 seconds in the 3,200, 5:45.30 in the 1,600 and 2:35.57 in the 800.
In her favorite event — the 3,200 — she was ninth in the 2012 states in 13:09.57.
She feels she is peaking at the right time in her senior campaign. Improvement has come because she has “been doing hill workouts, 300s and long distance.” She is shooting for a sub-12-minute clocking next week.
Haley Hinchman was a double-winner for the Lumberjack girls, clearing the 100 hurdles in 17.21 and the 300 hurdles in 49.12.
Valley’s Abby Buchan won both short sprints (100 in 13.75 and 200 in 28.63).
Midland Trail’s Devon Steele was a double-winner in the boys division, leading the 800 (2:10.98) and the 1600 (5:06.74).
Richwood coach J.B. Miller said he and his assistants, Russ and Marsha Ward, are pleased with the program’s region success. Miller also praised the Wards for the time they devote to the program.
“We (the coaches) don’t do any of the running; it’s all the kids,” he said. “They do want to win.”