COLUMBUS - South Range senior Adam Meloy ran as fast at the state track meet Saturday as he did after it.
Meloy placed eighth in the Division III 200-meter dash and then hustled back to South Range High School for graduation ceremonies.
"I was trying to think about the track meet," he said. "It's more important to me than graduation."
He finished one spot ahead of Warren JFK standout Carl Zallow.
"It felt good to be on the podium," Meloy said. "That's the first time I got to do it."
His time of 23.21 seconds was not close to his best.
"I'm not used to this kind of heat," he said.
Meloy left Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium with his medal and parents around noon so they could be back for graduation at 5:15 p.m.
He plans to major in business administration at Youngstown State University. He would like to open his own business some day.
South Range sophomore Emily Moretti was 13th in the Division II girls long jump (16-feet-1 3/4). She went 15-8 1/2 and 16-0 1/4 on her first two jumps.
Kenton Ridge freshman Jamari McDavid won with jumps of 18-3 and 18-5 3/4 on her final two attempts.
The Division II girls long jump featured one of the most touching moments. Columbus International senior Timia Easley - who won Division III state titles the last two years - suffered an ankle injury in practice Thursday.
With a cast and crutches, Easley made a ceremonial "run" to the pit to open the competition.
South Range sophomore Mollie Pierson was 16th in the Division II girls 3200 run (12:46.39). Caledonia River Valley senior Hannah Campell set a state meet record (10:40.66), while Carrollton freshman Maddie Dunlap was sixth (11:23.62).
Edison senior Ashley Borsch was poised to earn a spot on the podium in the Division II girls 300-meter hurdles until falling over the last hurdle. She got back up and finished a painful ninth (52.94).
Inter-Tri County League power McDonald captured its first girls state team title. The Blue Devils totaled 45 points, one more than Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas and Tinora in Division III.
Warren JFK opened the Division III meet Saturday by winning the first two races - Morgan Rice repeated in the 100 hurdles (14.49), as did Carl Zallow in the 110 hurdles (13.93).
Fairless senior Allyson Simmons set a state record in winning the Division II girls pole vault. She cleared 13-4 1/4, which ranked in the top 10 in the nation this season.
One of the most anticipated races of the day was the Division II boys 100-meter dash. Streetsboro freshman phenom Dakari Carter topped the star-studded field in 10.83. Youngstown State football recruit Jaylon Brown of St. Clairsville was second (10.90) and Ohio State football recruit Parris Campbell of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary was third (10.96).
A women's football clinic on Saturday afternoon attracted hundreds to Ohio State's football practice facility adjacent to the track.
The Mineral Ridge boys finished seventh in the Div. III 400-meter relay (44.51).