Two of the nation s top high school track and field athletes will be in action tomorrow for the City League championship meet at Rogers beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Bowsher senior sprinter MeshawnGraham and Rogers junior high jumper Erik Kynard rank among the country s best.
Graham, who will compete for the University of Michigan next year, will have a tough time matching up to her junior performance in the City meet. Graham zipped to wins in the 100, 200 and 400-meter events and also claimed the long jump title to post 40 of Bowsher s first-place total of 147 points. That effort enabled the Rebels to nip runner-up Central Catholic (138.5) and win their third straight title.
It still wasn t good enough for Graham to win the coaches vote for the league s outstanding girls track performer award. That went in favor of Central s Sharise Calhoun, who won both hurdle events (100, 300) and ran a leg on the Irish s first-place 400 and 1600-meter relay teams.
This voting outcome led CL commissioner Ed Scrutchins to eliminate coaches from voting on future individual awards for the meet. A selected panel will now vote on these awards.
Graham has been a Division I state champion in each of her previous three seasons, winning the 200 as a freshman, running on Bowsher s first-place 800 relay team as a sophomore, and winning the 100 as a junior.
Kynard cleared 6-feet, 9-inches in finishing second in the D-I state boys meet last year, and placed fourth there as a freshman in 2006 with a 6-6 jump while competing for Start. He cleared 7-3 during the indoor season (the state meet record is 7-2 ).
St. John s Jesuit will look to defend its boys team title after posting an all-time CL meet-record 187 points last year.
The City was set to began last night with preliminaries in many events, as well as finals in the boys and girls 3200-meter relay, the boys pole vault, discus and long jump, and the girls shot put and high jump.
The Southview boys and the Anthony Wayne girls are the defending champions entering tomorrow s Northern Lakes League track and field championships at Maumee. Field events begin at 5:30 p.m, while running finals start at 7 p.m.
AW junior Erika Schmidt set league records last year in winning the 100 (11.97) and 200 (24.28), and ran on the Generals record-setting 800-meter relay team (1:43.9).
She then went on to place second in the Division I state meet in the 200, took fifth in the 100, and helped AW s 800 and 1600-meter relay teams finish seventh and fifth, respectively.
Southview junior Shaun Joplin won the high jump at 6-4 and the long jump at 19-10 last year. Joplin later placed ninth in the state in the high jump.
Anthony Wayne, which is gunning for a third straight league crown, has won an NLL-best 15 league titles to go with eight runner-up finishes over 34 years of girls competition. Southview has won an NLL-best 12 titles and placed second seven times in the 50 years of boys competition.
Other league meets:
Eastwood will look to sweep the Suburban Lakes League meet for the eighth straight season. The meet will be at Otsego starting at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Last year the Eagles blasted the rest of the boys field, winning 13 of 17 individual titles. On the girls side, Eastwood used its depth last season and will look to hold off challenges this year from Lakota and Elmwood.
Montpelier will host the Northwest Ohio Athletic League meet tomorrow, with prelims starting at 2 p.m. and the finals beginning at 7 p.m.
Delta has won the previous two boys crowns, while on the girls side Wauseon is also looking to win its third straight.
The Toledo Area Athletic Conference meet will be run at Ottawa Hills tomorrow with the field events starting at 4 p.m. and the running finals beginning at 5.
Toledo Christian is looking for its fifth straight title in the boys meet, while Northwood won the girls meet last year.
Liberty-Benton looks to continue its stranglehold on the top spots in the Blanchard Valley Conference when it hosts the league meet tomorrow starting at 5 p.m. The L-B boys have won the past six BVC titles as well as 14 of the past 15, while the Eagle girls are looking for their eighth straight crown.
The Green Meadows Conference meet will be run at Ayersville tomorrow beginning at 5 p.m., with Tinora the defending champ in both meets.
Also tomorrow, Napoleon will host the Greater Buckeye Conference meet starting at 3:30 p.m.
Other meets that will occur Saturday include the Midland Athletic League championship at Fostoria St. Wendelin, and the Sandusky Bay Conference meet at Port Clinton.
After two seasons and a 6-36 record (3-25 in the Northern Lakes League), Gary Raber has resigned as boys basketball coach at Maumee.
Raber, 38, has accepted the positions of athletic director and boys basketball coach at Rayland Buckeye Local High School in southeastern Ohio, where he previously served as head basketball coach for two years (1998-2000, 21-24 record).
It had nothing to do with Maumee, Raber said. The administration has been great. But an opportunity came along and it was an opportunity that I wanted to pursue.
Raber was also a physical education teacher at Maumee, and spent five years as an assistant basketball coach at Bowsher while teaching at Wyandotte in Michigan before taking the Maumee post.
Waite senior basketball player Kenya Middlebrooks plans to sign a national letter-of-intent today to play at Youngstown State.
Middlebrooks, a 5-8 guard, was a three-year starter, helping the Indians to City League girls championships in 2006 and 2007, to the school s first appearance in a Division I regional in 2007. Waite was district runner-up last season.
She scored 19 points in Waite s tough 65-64 loss to the Irish in the district final.
The Indian guard averaged 10 points and 5.6 rebounds and received second-team All-City honors as well as a selection to the third team on the D-I all-district squad.
St. John s Jesuit junior offensive lineman Jack Mewhort, who has already committed to a football scholarship offer from Ohio State, has been selected to play in the Under Armour All-American Football Game in Orlando. The Jan. 4, 2009, game will be on ESPN.
The 6-6, 285-pound Mewhort, a center and defensive tackle, is also one of 400 players from the Class of 2009 being considered for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January. A total of 78 top players from around the nation will be chosen.
Mewhort earned All-Ohio second-team honors as an offensive lineman in Division I, as well as All-City League and all-district.
Bedford s softball team is on a roll after sweeping Ypsilanti Lincoln last weekend.
The Mules have won eight straight and are 13-0-1 in their last 14 games for a 19-6-1 record.
In other leagues:
Elmwood earned at least a share of the Suburban Lakes League title with its 6-2 win at Gibsonburg. The Royals are 10-0 in the SLL, and every other team has at least four losses.
Archbold clinched a share of the Northwest Ohio Athletic League title with an 8-5 victory over Wauseon Monday.
The Blue Streaks finished the league season with a 7-1 record, as did Evergreen after the Vikings beat Liberty Center 6-0. Wauseon placed third with a 6-2 mark. The title was the third for Archbold in as many seasons, but it was the first ever for Evergreen.
Arlington earned top honors in a tight Blanchard Valley Conference race. The Red Devils finished 7-1 in the league, one game better than Van Buren, Liberty-Benton and Arcadia.
At least a share of the Midland Athletic League crown will be earned tomorrow when Fostoria St. Wendelin and New Riegel play each other. Both are 7-2, as is Mohawk, while Carey (6-2) and North Baltimore (5-2) also still have title hopes.
Napoleon has wrapped up at least a share of its third straight Greater Buckeye Conference title. The Wildcats are 8-0 in league play with just two games to play. Marion Harding is second at 6-2.
Fairview completed a second straight unbeaten league season to win the Green Meadows Conference. The Apaches were 7-0 in the GMC and are 15-4 overall.
Hilltop clinched a share of the Buckeye Border Conference title with a 10-2 win over North Central. The Cadets are 8-0 in the BBC and 15-2 overall.
Findlay won its ninth consecutive Greater Buckeye Conference title at Marion Harding last weekend, winning two of the three singles crowns and both doubles titles.
Steven Albert and Mandela Sheaffer won at second and third singles, respectively, for the Trojans, while Damien and Jordan Shuck took first doubles and Joel Burget and Drew Jack claimed second doubles.
Sandusky s Travis Steineman won No. 1 singles, defeating Seth Reed of Findlay.