Sheridan’s Matt Bromley and Morgan’s Clinton Campbell were doing the chasing at the regional in 2012.
Bromley rode the coattails of John Glenn’s Zach Geiger in the 3,200, and Campbell was trying to escape a logjam to qualify in the 300 hurdles.
A year later, those roles were reversed.
Both runners were impressive in those events this time, earning titles to headline a big day for the Muskingum Valley League boys at the Division II regional track meet Saturday at Athens High School.
The top four finishers in each event advanced to the state meet starting Friday at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Bromley clocked at 9:53.1, just ahead of Millersburg West Holmes’ Cully Gordon (9:55.5) and East Liverpool’s Nate Boyer (9:56.7).
It wasn’t that close as Bromley never was challenged after pulling away in the second mile, even after Gordon tried to make a late charge.
Bromley is unbeaten in the 3,200 this season.
“I dropped out of the 1,600 so I would do better in the two-mile and help (teammate) Joey (Palumbo) run a good time,” Bromley said. “I think I would have made it in both, but I figured it would give someone else a chance to make the state and I could be and strong for the two-mile.”
Bromley, a junior, said his rivalry with Geiger helped prepare him for success in cross country and track this year.
He was third in Division II at the state cross country meet earlier in the fall and carried that momentum through the winter.
“This year, I had to make the pace,” Bromley said. “Last year, I was just trying to beat (Geiger). Every league meet, I had to run at the top of my game to have a chance.”
Campbell was fourth in the 300 hurdles at the regional in 2012 and needed a strong finish to sneak into the state.
There was no such struggles this time.
Campbell ran 38.9 to win by a full second over Belmont Union Local’s Collin Jones, who was second in 39.9.
He credited a good warmup.
“Coming out of the blocks I felt real smooth my first two hurdles,” said Campbell, who finished fourth in the 200 in 22.54. “They were really smooth, probably the best they’ve felt all season. Then in the final 100, I just kicked it and used everything I had left.”
He’s got high hopes for Columbus. With one of the top times in the state, he’ll be favored to make the final, which he missed by less than one second in 2012.
“I’m going to try to win it all,” Campbell said. “I want to bring a state title down to Morgan.”
Other MVL runners to qualify included Sheridan’s 1,600 relay of Ethan Snider, Justin Snider, Mac Bloom and Matt Freville, who were fourth in 3:30.0.
John Glenn’s Woody Jamiel outlasted Meadowbrook’s Dallas Guy for fourth in the 1,600.
“It’s been a long time, but I finally get to state,” Jamiel said. “My first lap today was really slow. I was in about 10th place. But I jumped into the pack on my second lap, and then I knew I had to go hard on my final two laps.”
Philo’s Elijah Talk qualified in the shot put, where he threw 53-9¼ to place third.
“Last year, I was seventh at the regional so I was pretty hungry coming in,” Talk said. “I felt pretty confident after getting second at the district last week. I’ve met my goals so far, but I need to adjust my technique and get a little bit faster before the state meet.”
Maysville’s Alex Pressley surprised himself by qualifying in the discus Thursday but failing to move on in the shot put.
He was fifth with 50-11½.
“The shot has been my better event,” Pressley said. “I was eighth in the disc coming into the regional. I straightened out some things technique-wise (in the discus) that helped me out.”
New Lexington’s Dylan Winnenberg just missed qualifying in the 100, taking fifth in 11.48. Freville was fifth in the high jump (6-2) and seventh in the 400 (51.6) and Justin Snider was eighth in the 800 (2:03.6).
Maysville was sixth in the 800 relay (1:33.2) and seventh in the 1,600 relay (3:32.3), and Eli Chambers was fifth in the high jump (6-2).