Ginn Stars At State Track Prelims

Led by a command performance by senior and future Buckeye Ted Ginn Jr., Cleveland Glenville appears to be the team to beat at the Division I state boys track and field meet. Click here for details on Friday's preliminary events.

It was just the semifinals day at the Ohio state track and field meet, but you would not have known that by watching Cleveland Glenville's Ted Ginn Jr. and Trotwood-Madison's Zach Logan going head to head.

The two seniors clashed in three events -- the 400 meters, the 200-meter dash and the 4x400 relay. But each time Ginn and Glenville came out on top, branding him and the Tarblooders as the favorites to repeat as the Division I state champions in Saturday's finals at OSU's Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Ginn's day began simply enough as he breezed to an easy prelim heat win in the 110-meter high hurdles in 13.26 seconds.

But business picked up later in the afternoon, when he and Logan went head-to-head in three events in the span of just 65 minutes.

First was the 400-meter dash, where Logan was the defending champion. But Ginn won by a step or two, hitting the wire in 46.57 seconds to Logan's 46.91. Ginn bested his regional meet-winning time by over 1.5 seconds and had to work to put it away.

The two were side-by-side 45 minutes later in the 200-meter dash prelim. Ginn nipped Logan 21.44 seconds to 21.49 in the day's most thrilling finish.

But these two standouts were not done yet. They came back just 15 minutes later for the prelims in the 4x400 relay. Glenville's team was weakened as Jamario O'Neal, a junior who has already verbaled to Ohio State for football, scratched due to what appeared to be a hamstring pull.

No worry, though, because classmate Fredie Lenix filled in on O'Neal's second leg.

Ginn and Logan were ready for one last showdown and Ginn accepted the baton for the final leg just a second before Logan. Ginn held a comfortable lead throughout until Logan tried to swing by him in the final turn.

The capacity crowd was in a frenzy as these two once again raced for the wire. Ginn gutted out one more fantastic finish as Glenville won its prelim in 3:18.44 to Trotwood-Madison's 3:18.83.

The neat thing is these teams and special athletes will get together to do it all over again in Saturday's championships. The track finals in Division I start at 1:15 p.m.

"We're going to come out tomorrow and try and do it again," Ginn said after his final grueling event. "It's fun being back in Columbus. I'm having a great time.

"We have a couple goals. I hope we just accomplish them and can go home."

Ginn tipped his hat to Logan and his efforts in pushing him in the prelims, where the top four finishers in each heat advance to the finals.

"I knew it was going to be tough because of Zach Logan," Ginn said. "I knew it was going to be a (tough) day."

In fact, the prelims are a much harder experience for the athletes because none of the longer distances races (800, 1,600 or 3,200) are contested in prelims. That means rest times are much shorter for the prelims.

"Tomorrow should be a good day," Ginn said. "Yes, it is harder today. Plus, my legs are tight."

Ginn reflected on the dramatic finish in the 4x400 relay.

"I knew it was going to end up like that with a race," he said.

Ginn predicted that O'Neal would be back for Saturday's finals.

He is also looking forward to another battle with Logan and St. Charles' Derek Hoye in the open quarter.

"It's going to be a great race," he said. "May the best man win."

Ginn also confirmed that he plans to run track at Ohio State.

"They're both (football and track) good sports," he said.

Also Notable

There were a number of other key football prospects and otherwise in competition Friday.

Here were some other results from Friday's prelims and finals in selected events:

* Brian Hartline, junior, Canton GlenOak -- Hartline finished fourth in the 110-meter hurdle prelims (14.31) and qualified for the finals. Hartline won his prelim heat in the 300-meter hurdles in 38.06 seconds. He will also compete in the high jump.

* Freddie Lenix, junior, Cleveland Glenville -- Lenix won his heat of the 100-meter dash in 10.68 seconds. He was also on the 4x400 relay winner replacing O'Neal. Lenix and O'Neal were also on the winning 4x200 relay team, which won in 1:25.11. They were also on the winning 4x100 relay team, which won in 42.19 seconds.

* Jamario O'Neal, junior, Cleveland Glenville -- O'Neal won the other 100 prelim in 10.69 seconds.

* Brandon Harrison, junior, Dayton Chaminade-Julienne -- Harrison nipped OSU signee Erik Haw for fourth place and the last qualifying spot in the O'Neal 100-meter prelim. Harrison was clocked in 10.81 seconds to Haw's 10.88.

* Erik Haw, senior, Columbus Independence -- Haw will get a chance at gold on Saturday after he and his 4x100 relay team finished second to Glenville in 42.38 seconds.

* Chad Hoobler, senior, Carrollton -- Hoobler will compete in the discus.

* Curtis Smith, junior, Cleveland Glenville -- Smith finished fifth in the shot put (56-5).

* Brandon Smith, senior, Euclid -- The OSU signee was seventh in the shot (54-10).

* Shaun Lane, senior, Hubbard -- The OSU signee was competing in the Division II long jump.

* Dante Jackson, freshman, Greenfield McClain -- The basketball standout was third in his heat of the 110-meter high hurdles in Division II at 14.75 seconds.

* Greg Keys, junior, Bellevue -- Keys was all over the Division II meet. He was first in his heat of the 110 hurdles (14.25) and first in the 300 hurdles (39.24). He was also on a 4x100 relay team that was fourth in its heat.

* Kendall Davis, junior, Alliance -- He was first in his heat in the 100 (10.9) and 200 (21.87) in Division II.

Look for photos from the meet in the days ahead.

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