Payton MacLean, Contributing Writer
The Wooster Fighting Scots men’s and women’s track and field teams made their way over to Ohio Wesleyan University for the heavily anticipated All-Ohio Division III Championships this past Saturday afternoon. The teams faced off against 12 other Division III competitors, including four NCAC programs (Denison, Kenyon, Oberlin and the championship hosts). On the men’s side of the meet, the Big Red of Denison University were out to defend their crown as Ohio’s top team, after winning its first championship meet in school history one year prior. The NCAC track powerhouse has done well to defend its elite reputation this outdoor season, finishing second out of 27 teams at the Emory Thrills in the Hills Open in Atlanta, GA., and second at the Marv Frye Invitational, finding their best form in the weekend leading up to the championships. The biggest roadblock in their path to destruction? A feisty Wooster squad that held them even at 82 in a draw on Wednesday, April 12. This major result certainly upped the tension going into the Championships, with all eyes on the Scots to see if they could repeat this remarkable showing.
With the electrifying duo of juniors sweeping the pole vault, Wooster got off to a flying start in the field. With a PR and new school record, Dylan Garretson ’24 finished first. His height of 16′ 2.75″ was the fourth-highest in Division III this spring and the best in Ohio. Davis Patterson ’24, who came in second place right after him, had a PR of 15′ 3″ that ranked fourth in program history. Luke Henke ’23 tied for first place in the high jump with a leap of 6′ 4″, a personal record, and the eighth-highest height in the history of the competition. In addition, Echo Kidd ’25 had an All-Ohio performance (finishing in the top three in an event) with a long jump distance of 22′ 3.5″ that saw him place third.
In the track events, Will Callender ’25, who has enjoyed a dominant sophomore campaign, placed second in the 5,000-meter with a 15:26.91. Drew Robertson ’25 also secured All-Ohio honors with a 3:57.73 in the 1,500-meter. Additionally, Nick Scherson ’23 finished fifth in the 400-meter with a 50.26, and also competed with the 4×400-meter squad of Joe Schilts ’23, Will McMichael ’22 and Davis Patterson that earned a fifth-place finish with a time of 3:28.46. Despite multiple record-breaking efforts and a total of six All-Ohio performances, the Denison squad was determined to prevent its dethroning as it completed its run for back-to-back Ohio champs with a score of 153.50 points. The Scots still left the meet with their heads held high, earning an impressive 57 points en route to a sixth-place finish.
Elite NCAC results in 2023 have defined the women’s track and field landscape in Ohio, leaving many to wonder which team would prevail when they squared off in this Championship event. In the field, Drew Patterson ’24 dominated the high jump with a 5’4.25,” securing a first-place effort and fifth-place all-time for the program. Claudia Partridge ’25 also earned a fourth-place height with 5’ 2.25.” Wooster saw its second All-Ohio effort of the day come from Morgan Kromer ’23 who tied for third place for pole vault with her PR of 11’ 3,” ranking second all-time in program history.
On the track side, it was Arena Tharenos ’24 who secured the Scot’s second first-place effort with a commanding victory in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, coming in over a minute ahead of the next closest finisher with an 11:08.22; her PR ranked second in Wooster track and field history. The third first-place finish came from Isabelle Hoover ’23 in the 5,000-meter, where she turned in a remarkable 18:33.74. Haley Bloom ’23, Izzie Cozzie ’26, Igna Mendez ’25 and Tharenos’ 4×400-meter relay team finished third to earn another All-Ohio achievement for the women’s team. In a close race for fourth place, the 4×100-meter team of Maia Doescher ’25, Claire Mackin ’25, Drew Patterson and Cozzie found themselves on the verge of All-Ohio recognition.
The Scots came away with three champions and five All-Ohio performances that secured them 73.5 points, making them one of four NCAC squads to finish in the top six. Ultimately, Case Western Reserve bested the competition with 111 points and Wooster women earned the same spot as the men, with a respectable sixth-place performance.
On April 22, both teams will return to action when they go to Gambier, Ohio, to take on the Kenyon College Owls.