GRANVILLE – Watkins Memorial had long wrapped up the meet Friday.
The Warriors could have let somebody else have the glory in the 4×400 relay. That, however, is not the way they are wired.
Despite being shorthanded, Watkins standouts Desmond Melson and Chance Abbitt pulled the Warriors to victory in the final race of the night at Granville. It capped a dominating night as each Watkins team repeated as Licking County League champions.
“We always expect to run well because it is like family on the track,” Melson said. “We always cheer each other on, and I think that helps get the adrenaline pumping.”
Melson received the baton for the third leg in fifth place. It was not long before the LCL 400 champion (49.07) had the Warriors at the front with Abbitt the 400 runner-up taking it home. The Warriors (3:24.92) finished just ahead of Heath (3:25.49).
Jake Correll led off the relay, and the Warriors then used Kyle Marohl as a late substitution because Gerick Brewer was injured in the 300 hurdles.
“It was great,” said Melson, of his mad dash. “It is nice to know we can run a 3:24 without Gerick, so that means we have some people than can back up. Kyle split a 53, and that’s a (personal best) for him.”
The Watkins boys scored 202 points, more than doubling runner-up Granville’s 98. Heath was third with 97.5. In the girls meet, Watkins scored 175 points, ahead of Granville 121.5.
The Watkins girls also had to fight to the finish during the 4×400. Watkins, Licking Heights, Granville and Newark Catholic were all in the mix throughout the race, and Rachel Lawwell edged Heights’ Saalihah Mumin during the final 100, giving the Warriors the win (4:02.55).
“The freshman, Lauren Wilson came out of nowhere, and we really needed her,” said Lawwell, who also was joined by Nicole Holtz and Kara Robinson. “It was amazing with her there. I usually have to chase someone but knowing (Mumin) was right there, I was like, ‘No, you can’t give up.'”
Lawwell also won the 100 (12.69) and joined McKenzie Biniker, Kelsey Grove and Kara Robinson on the winning 4×200 (1:43.21). Biniker, Grove, Monica Tumblin and Stori Davis won the 4×100 (50.19).
Robinson was a double champion in the 100 hurdles (15.43) and 300 hurdles (44.87), lowering her school record in the latter. Josie Woosley won the 1,600 (5:08.19).
“Ever since I got that 45, my goal was to get under 45,” Robinson said. “Now, I just want to keep lowering it and lowering it.”
Granville’s Claire Lamb won the 3,200 (11:19.46). The Blue Aces had a strong showing despite not having injured standouts Natalie Price and Micaela DeGenero.
“It’s a little frustrating, but we’re still trying to compete at the highest level,” said Cassidy Carey, who was on the winning 4×800 relay Tuesday. “It doesn’t matter who’s in or who’s out.”
In the boys meet, Evan Caniff won the 100 (11.05) and 200 (22.33) and joined Solomon Broomfield, Tyri Williams and Brenden Colley in the winning 4×100 (43.73) and Abbitt, Melson and Bobby Broomfield in the winning 4×200 (1:28.84).
Correll won the 110 hurdles (15.15) and 300 hurdles (40.21), and Andrew Jordan won the 1,600 (4:16.58) and 3,200 (9:42.30).