LUCKEY – Eastwood’s dream of winning a state championship has been an unspoken goal all season.
Now that the state meet is here, the championship has the Eagles’ full attention.
Six individuals and two relay teams from Eastwood will compete in the Division II state meet Friday and
Saturday in hopes of winning the school’s first boys state team title.
The Eagles – who finished second in the state last season – have performed well all season and won their
second straight regional championship last Saturday at Lexington High School.
Eastwood scored 721/2 points in the regional after winning the Oak Harbor High School district title with
124 points the previous week.
The Eagles graduated only standout sprinter Jeremy Foster after last season. Sandusky Perkins won the
state title last season with 48 points, while Eastwood was second with 391/2.
"Even though we were satisfied with finishing second at state last season, we were disappointed we
didn’t win," said Eagle junior Justin Welch, who is the defending state champion in the discus.
He’s a returning state qualifier in the shot put.
"We came together and decided to work hard during the offseason to give ourselves a chance to win it
Eastwood also finished second in the state in 2003.
The other state title contenders are expected to be Orville, which was second to Eastwood with 56 points
at Lexington; Cortland Lakeview, which scored 53 points in the Ravenna regional; and Columbus Hartley,
which had 42 points at Dayton.
"We haven’t talked about winning state during the season, but it’s been in the back of our
minds," said Eastwood junior Cody Seifert, a state qualifier in the 100. "The past couple
weeks, we’ve really been working towards our goal."
Even Eastwood coach Gary White acknowledged the state title is the team’s goal. In the past, he’s
stressed only individual performances the week of the state meet.
"We’re telling them that their individual performances are going to help the team," White said.
"Now, it becomes a team thing and we want to well for the team. By talking about it, there’s less
pressure on the individuals. We’re doing it for bigger things, a bigger cause."
The Eagles needed a perfect state meet and some help from other teams to have won state last season.
Their second-place finish in 2003 was a surprise.
This season, Eastwood’s athletes don’t have to do anything super human to win the title.
The Eagles just have to continue to perform the same way they have all season, particularly the last two
weeks in the district and the regional. The Lexington regional is the toughest of the four in the state
and athletes who do well there usually perform well at state.
The top eight finishers in each event score points and receive All-Ohio honors. And the Eagles are
capable of placing in the top eight in all of their events.
"We’re not asking kids to win their events. We’re just asking them to get to the finals and score
points," White said. "Their performances have been special and they have to do it again. If
they perform like they did last week and the week before, that should be pretty close to what we want to
do down there and that could be enough."
Eastwood usually is at its best late in the season, starting with the Suburban Lakes League meet where it
has won nine straight league titles.
"Our workouts are geared for us to be peaking at the end of the season," Welch said. "The
coaches do a great job of making sure we’re ready for the end of the season. They stress improvement and
we’re usually healthy. We don’t peak too early."
Even though track is regarded as an individual sport and the district and the regional meets are about
qualifying individuals for state, Eastwood still has a team atmosphere.
"That comes from the coaches," Seifert said. "They really stress the team. Every event is
important. We’ll compete in our own events and as soon we’re finished, we’ll go cheer on the rest of the
In addition to Welch, Crosby Schemenauer returns to state in the pole vault where he finished second last
season, Seifert is back in the 100 after finishing fourth last year and senior Josh Hoodlebrink
qualified again in the long jump.
The running semifinals are Friday with the finals on Saturday. The field events are split between Friday
Eastwood’s other state qualifiers are the 400 and 1,600 relay teams.
The 400 team consists of sophomore Taylor Depew, Hoodlebrink, senior Matt Schlumbohm and Seifert.
The 1,600 team consists of seniors Jason Faykosh, Lucas Hoodlebrink, Josh Beaudoin and Josh Hoodlebrink.
STATE TRACK AND FIELD MEET
At Ohio State University/Jesse Owens Stadium
10 a.m. – Boys pole vault, finals, Eastwood’s Crosby Schemenauer.
10 a.m. – Boys long jump, finals, Eastwood’s Josh Hoodlebrink.
10 a.m. – Boys shot put, finals, Eastwood’s Justin Welch.
2:10 p.m. – Boys 110 hurdles, semifinals, Schemenauer.
2:25 p.m. – Boys 100, semifinals, Eastwood’s Cody Seifert.
2:55 p.m. – Boys 400 relay, semifinals, Eastwood, team of Taylor Depew, Josh Hoodlebrink, Matt Schlumbohm
4:10 p.m. – Boys, 1,600 relay, semifinals, Eastwood, team of Jason Faykosh, Lucas Hoodlebrink, Josh
Beaudoin and Josh Hoodlebrink.
9 a.m. – Boys pole vault, finals, Welch.
1:05 p.m. – Boys 110 hurdles, finals, Schemenauer.
1:10 p.m. – Boys 100, finals, Seifert.
1:50 p.m. – Boys 400 relay, finals, Eastwood, team of Depew, Josh Hoodlebrink, Schlumbohm and Seifert.
3:10 p.m. – Boys, 1,600 relay, semifinals, Eastwood, team of Jason Faykosh, Lucas Hoodlebrink, Josh
Beaudoin and Josh Hoodlebrink.
Note: Running finals are based on athletes qualifying during Friday’s semifinals.