Clay pole vaulter Andrew Mawhorter qualifies for state

Clay senior Andrew Mawhorter qualified for the Division I state track meet in the pole vault. The state meet was held Friday and Saturday, June 4-5, at Hilliard Darby High School in suburban Columbus.

“Andrew is a very focused vaulter,” said Clay track coach Brent Combs. “He knows what it takes to be successful. He is peaking at the right time of the season. He is a very confident athlete. He told me and our pole vault coach, (Alex) Szigeti that he was going to break the school record, and make it to state, and he has done both.”

The problem for Mawhorter was been he has been dealing with the same competitors all season, and they are from his league — the Three Rivers Athletic Conference.

At the regional meet in Amherst, Ohio, Mawhorter cleared 14 feet to finish fourth. Whitmer senior John Meinen won the event, clearing 15 feet, followed by Whitmer junior Jacob Niedzwiecki (14-8) and Elida junior Conner Douglass (14-4).         

Mawhorter finished third at the St. Francis district meet as he and Meinen both cleared 13-9, but Meinen got second place in a jump-off. Niedzwiecki won the district title, clearing 14-8.

At the TRAC meet, Niedzwiecki won by clearing 14-10. Mawhorter was second at 13-6 and Neinen third at 13 feet.

At the league meet, the Clay boys finished seventh with 49 points and the girls were eighth with 44 points. Findlay (164) won the boys championship and Fremont Ross (146) won the girls championship.

However, the Clay boys 4x100 relay team of senior Christopher Niezgoda and juniors Dominic Marquette, Owen Gibbs and Jordan Pettaway won a league championship in 43.78, nipping a St. John’s team (43.84) for less than one-tenth of a second. The same foursome also won a 4x200 championship, finishing in 1:30.32 and defeating Findlay (1:30.33) by one-hundredth of a second.

That same relay team also won the 4x200 district title, finishing in 1:31.54, defeating St. John’s (1:32.06) and the 4x100, finishing in 43.48 to defeat St. John’s (44.04).

At the district meet, Pettaway and Marquette finished one-two in the 100-meter dash with times of 10.85 and 11.29.  

As a team, the Clay boys finished sixth out of 14 teams, scoring 55¾ points. St. John’s won the team title with 94 points.

However, neither relay team advanced to state out of the regional meet — the 4x200 team placed seventh and the 4x100 failed to place.





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