Licking Valley’s Zach Crouse jumped an outdoor-best 21-feet-9 on his first attempt Wednesday, and it looked like he might be stealing his teammate’s thunder.
As it turned out, Crouse’s long jump was just an appetizer for what was coming next. Valley’s Quincy Robinson and Granville’s Cody Lenfest traded the lead twice as each recorded personal bests during the Licking County Honor Roll Meet at Granville.
Robinson eventually earned the victory with a best of 22-10.25. Lenfest just missed topping him at 22-9.5.
“I was thinking if (Crouse) was able to jump 21, I would be able to jump just as far,” said Robinson, of his classmate and friend. “I wasn’t too worried. I wouldn’t have cared really as long as one of us beat (Lenfest).”
Robinson recently jumped 22-0.5 to tie his 2012 best and his school record. He reset his school record three times Wednesday. He needed to because Lenfest jumped a season-best 22-6.75 in the preliminaries to take the lead into the finals.
“We haven’t jumped at all together this year in decent weather,” Robinson said. “I didn’t know what to expect. We jumped great. I didn’t really expect to jump that far because there wasn’t really a board.”
Lenfest gradually has added more running to his repertoire each season, so he has not spent much time on his field events this season. He stepped back into the long jump Wednesday, and it was like riding a bike. He was a regional qualifier in 2012.
Lenfest will have another shot to edge Robinson when the two match up in the first day of the Mid-State League-Ohio Division meet Tuesday.
“Ever since freshman year and maybe even eighth grade, it has been a friendly competition, going back and forth,” Lenfest said. “He beats me, and I beat him. It just makes both of us better. (Losing) is bittersweet.”
Nobody, however, was beating the Blue Aces on the track in the unscored meet. Casey Lenfest continued his eye-popping season, sweeping the 100 (10.91) and 200 (21.65).
Cody Lenfest won the 300 hurdles (38.64), and the brothers teamed up with Hunter Rogerson and Ajay Alderman in the 800 relay. The foursome blew away the school record just set a week ago by almost a second (1:28.36).
“It is phenomenal, and it doesn’t lie on one person. That’s for sure,” Rogerson said. “You have the two Lenfest brothers, and they are that dynamic duo. (Alderman) and I just kind of latch on, and we become a little family for that (800 relay).”
Rogerson won the 110 hurdles (15.07), and Tyler Otterstedt gave the Blue Aces another champion in the 800 (1:55.04).
Newark as usual was strong in the distance races with Anthony Johnson winning the 400 (48.54) and Toby Hardwick taking the 1,600 (4:31.86). They joined Kameron Carpenter and Isaac Wheeler in winning the 3,200 relay (8:11.47).
Valley showed its strength in the field events. In addition to his third in the long jump, Crouse won the pole vault (14-0). Neil Bailey swept the throws, winning the shot put (52-3) and discus (155-7.5). The Panthers’ 400 relay of Crouse, John Righter, Tyler Kuhnes and Drew McArtor also won (44.32).
The meet’s final event, the 1,600 relay, provided the most excitement. Watkins Memorial held a lead throughout, but it was far from easy for the Warriors. Ethan George, Connor Severino, Vinny Anderson and Chance Abbitt won with a season best (3:23.95), and Heath also had a season best to place second (3:26.33).
“It really gives us some confidence going into the bigger meets at the end of the season,” said Heath anchor Josh Lines. He joined Freddy Stinson, Matt Kaser and Carlos Rencher on the relay.
“We all run a lot better when we are chasing people down. Competition just helps.”
Watkins’ Mike McKean won the 3,200 (9:46.47), and teammate Hunter Holton won the high jump (6-4).