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Published: 5/23/2007

Bowsher's Graham on a regional track mission

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Bowsher's Meshawn Graham spent much of her time a year ago nursing a hamstring injury.

It cost her a chance at repeating as the state's Division I 200-meter champion, a race she won as a freshman.

Graham, coming off a record-setting run of 23.96 at the district meet, is perhaps in the best shape of her life. She also won the 100 (12.01) and 400 (55.59) and ran with Shannon Franklin, Cheryce Burton and Paris Littleton for a record time in the 1600 relay (3:57.58).

"I had to come out and prove myself," Graham said.

That attitude will not change when she runs in the D-I regional meet today and Friday at Amherst Steele.

Graham certainly will not be alone in proving mode where the top four finishers in each event advance to the state track meet in Columbus.

St. John's Jesuit's Chris and Matt Lemon lead a group of optimistic Titans into the regional meet after claiming the school's first district championship. Chris Lemon won the district 1600 and his brother, Matt, won the 3200.

"Winning district was one of our goals," St. John's Steve Spenthoff said. "Our first goal was to win the City League and now we want to go out and win regionals."

Maumee's Bo Waggoner (3200) is among a handful of the area's returning regional champions. Start sophomore Erik Kynard is looking for a repeat as regional title in the high jump. St. Ursula's Shareyna Spears looks to repeat in the long jump. Bowling Green senior Christy Titus (1600, 3200) is looking to qualify for the state meet for the fourth time. Northview's Nikki Klahn and Central Catholic's Dane Sanzenbacher hope to defend 400 titles.

Perrysburg's Courtney Weiss (300 hurdles) and Anthony Wayne's Erika Schmidt (100, 200) will be top contenders.

Bowsher's Aeric Clay (100), Whitmer's Courtney Siebenaller (100 hurdles 300 hurdles, pole vault) and Central Catholic's Sharise Calhoun (100 hhurdles, 300 hurdles) are also among the favorites.

fSouthview's Shaun Joplin (high jump, long jump) ventures into his first regional meet in his first season of track after posting a first and second in his two events at district.

In Division II, Eastwood senior Jack Schemenauer (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles) and freshman Cody Seifert (100, 200) lead the group of area athletes expected to compete at Lexington tomorrow and Saturday.

Clyde's Stephanie Meyer (200) and Meghan Gill (high jump) will compete as district champs.

Rossford's Rachel Clay (200, 400) qualified for the regional for the first time in the 200 and 400.

In Division III, Woodmore's Emily Pendleton, who has been dominant in the discus and very successful in the shot, leads the list of athletes set to compete today and Friday at Fostoria.

Pendleton, owner of the state's best discus throw (183-3), is pursuing her fourth state title as well as the national record of 188-4 that has stood since 1994. Pendleton's sister, Erin, who has been her only real competition in the discus, is also looking to make a return trip to state.

Ottawa Hills' Katherine Jamieson (100, 200, 400) and Hollis Barber (1600) figure as frontrunners in their events after winning district titles. Toledo Christian's Marc Benjamin (100) and Patrick Henry's Nick Powers (100) are also amonf the favorites.

Contact Donald Emmons at:

demmons@theblade.com

or 419-724-6302.



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