Mason High School’s Atrium Stadium is one of the best track and field facilities in the area, but it isn’t big enough for Western Brown’s Mack Tudor.
Wednesday’s Division I district discus throw competition had to be moved from Mason to Lakota East because Tudor, a senior who has already broken the all-time state record this season, is throwing farther than the Mason discus area can hold. Tudor won his third consecutive district title in the event with a toss of 185 feet, 5 inches.
A little while later, at Mason, Withrow senior, city record-holder and defending state shot put champion D’Monami Gardner won her fourth straight district championship with a heave of 43-6.
Tudor and Gardner head to next week’s regional meet as favorites not only to win their events at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium but at the state meet the following week at Ohio State. They agreed on one thing about their wins: There are better things to come in the next couple of weeks.
Neither winning performance was near their personal bests; Tudor threw 206-4 at the Wayne Invitational last month to best the 204-5 mark set by Akron Ellet’s Charles Moye in 1987. Gardner won the state title last season with a final put of 46-8.75.
“Right now I’m practicing my technique and all I’m thinking about the next two weeks is that 206,” said Tudor. “That’s what I plan on hitting.”
Sophomore Ellery Lassiter of Walnut Hills was second at 152-6, with junior Danny Keller of Turpin and sophomore Evan Spangler of Anderson also qualifying for Dayton.
Tudor has qualified to state three years in a row; he placed 12th as a freshman and eighth as a sophomore but fouled on all three of his preliminary throws last year and didn’t qualify to the finals.
“That’s pretty much what pushed me through the summer last year,” said Tudor. “… That has driven me the past year.”
Gardner has had her eyes and mind set on the state shot put record of 50-10 owned by Ashley Moffett of North Canton Hoover since 2005. She said she felt good in warm-ups, getting some of her puts out into the 47- and 48-foot range but it didn’t translate into the competition. She had two fouls that had good distance.
“I was mad,” said Gardner. “I’m focusing on trying to get that record.”
Sophomore Chelsea Carpenter of Walnut Hills was second, while senior teammate Jillian Hassel was third and Mason sophomore Ashley Brown fourth.
Wednesday’s competition consisted of seven final events and running preliminaries. Mason leads the boys’ meet with 26 points through three events, while the Comets tallied 48.5 points through four events to put themselves well on the way to a girls’ team championship.
The top four finishers in each event qualify for the regional meet.
The Anderson boys and Mason girls won their respective 3,200-meter relay races in blistering fashion. Anderson won the boys’ race in 7:51.07, while defending state champion Mason took the girls’ race in 9:19.55. Both times were faster than the times leading the state, according to Milesplit.com, at the start of the day.
The Anderson team of juniors Casey Gallagher and Sean Batt and seniors Kameron Powell and Nick Vogele won by nearly 6 seconds against Mason’s quartet of sophomore Ethan Valentine, juniors Paul D’Hyver de las Deses and Alex Notton and senior Michael Mumma. Vogele ran a split of 1:53.6, according to Anderson coach Andy Wolf, on the anchor leg.
Kings and Turpin also qualified.
Mason’s team of freshman Delaney McDowell, sophomore Olivia Gaus and seniors Bridget McElhenny and Monica Lake ran away from the field.
Sycamore (9:34.53) was second, with Turpin and Walnut Hills also qualifying.
In the only other boys’ final, Mason senior Josh Dooley won the long jump with a leap of 21-4.5. Sophomore Matt McDonald of Little Miami, freshman Reece Pontious of Mason and senior James Crawford of Withrow also qualified.
Sophomore Jenny Nelson cleared 10-6 to win the pole vault ahead of sophomore teammate Rachel Stein.
Sophomore Jordan Horning of Mason (5-3) won the high jump, with junior Emma Zangrando of Turpin, senior Jadie Riewoldt of Little Miami and sophomore Meredith Haller of Mason also advancing.