Nic Eader’s Twitter handle is a play off the Terminator.
The Watkins Memorial senior channeled Arnold Schwarzenegger and destroyed the competition this week during the Ohio Capital Conference-Capital Division meet. Eader swept the shot put and discus in dominating fashion after finishing second in both in 2012.
“That was a major relief,” Eader said. “If I didn’t do that, I would feel terrible, honestly. I waited a whole year. I waited too long. It feels too long.”
With their customary power in the field events, Watkins gave New Albany a run for its money down to the final events Saturday at Hilliard Bradley before the Warriors fell short of the Eagles for the second consecutive year. The Warriors finished as runners-up in the final season in the Capital after a string of four consecutive titles was snapped in 2012.
Eader threw a personal-best 52-feet-11.5 to win the shot put during the meet’s first day Thursday. He won that event by almost three feet. He led the discus by three feet Saturday after throwing a personal-best 156-2 during the preliminaries, but he bettered that on his final attempt, throwing 157-10.
“Shot put especially, it was so many repetitions at practice on everything we possibly could, and the discus was the same thing,” Eader said. “I kind of stressed myself out coming in, but once you get those practice throws in, you get comfortable with it.”
Adding to three field event titles, Watkins won two events on the track Saturday. The Warriors finished with 173 points, trailing New Albany’s 182. It was a two-team race from the start as third-place Big Walnut had just 81 points.
Sophomore Chance Abbitt has been a jack-of-all-trades for Watkins on the track, but he is making the 400 his specialty. He broke the 50-second mark for the first time, winning in 49.80 and edging Delaware’s Columbus Millet.
“It really helped because he was on my inside, and I saw him catching me by the 200-meter mark,” Abbitt said. “I knew I had to go, but he didn’t gain any ground on me. I thought I could chase him down.”
Abbitt led off the victorious 1,600 relay, and he was joined by Vinny Anderson, Connor Severino and Ethan George. The relay’s winning time of 3:24.71 was less than a second off their best.
Watkins had six runner-up finishes, double placers in six events and triple placers in both hurdles events. Hunter Holton tied his outdoor best, clearing 6-5 to place second in the high jump, and he took second in the 110 hurdles (15.53).
“I am finally peaking, and this is where I need to,” Holton said. “If I can get over 6-6 or 6-7 going into districts and regionals, hopefully I can get to the state meet and see what happens.”
Other second-place finishers were Ethan George in the 300 hurdles (39.45), Donovan Garrison in the 200 (22.39), Austin Dowis in the 800 (2:04.08) and Mike McKean in the 1,600 (4:30.82). Jerrod Lyon in the long jump (21-3) was Watkins’ other champion Thursday.
In the girls meet, coach Nathan Corum bumped up senior standout Stephanie Robb from the 400 to the 800, and it paid off. Robb came from behind during the final 200 meters to win in 2:20.52.
“During the race, I honestly thought I was done at the 200-meter mark,” Robb said. “Then it kind of hit me that I had more energy left. I was like: ‘Well, it is worth a shot.’ I just kicked, used everything I had left and just finished it out.”
Sophomore Josie Woosley was the other Warrior champion, in the 1,600. After finishing second to teammate and four-time 1,600 champion Mara White in 2012, Woosley won a final-lap duel in 5:18.55 after the leaders set a slow early pace. Woosley also placed second in the 3,200 (12:33.29).
Watkins finished third in the team standings with 109.5 points, trailing New Albany’s 153 and Big Walnut’s 124.5. The 800 relay of Robb, Rachel Lawwell, McKenzie Biniker and Kelsey Grove placed second (1:45.45), and the 400 (51.52) and 1,600 (4:11.02) relays were third. Lawwell was third in the 400 (1:01.49).