Records galore fall at University of Findlay

Records galore fell last night as Southwest Ohio Track Club teammates, Taylor Ewert and Cameron Haught, broke long standing state and national high school records in the Olympic track & field event of Race Walking.

Ewert, who is 15 year old ninth grader at Beavercreek High School, walked thru the first 400 meters of the 3,000 meter event on the 200m circuit within Malcom Athletic Center on the University of Findlay campus in just one minute and 50 seconds. She then settled into the rhythmic pace for which elite walking is known. The six-time USATF Junior Olympic National Champion next posted an official mark of 7:37.67 for her 1600m split. Ewert, who is also the number one harrier on her high school’s cross country team, would finish 80 seconds up on second. Her final time of 14:37.57 would break the all-time Ohio HS indoor record of 14:50.7 for 3000 meters.

It is also a new National High School Record for the long-legged lass. Ewert’s winning time breaks the old Freshman record of 15:07.50 established by Lewiston, Maine's Kayla Allen almost 3 years ago.

Cameron Haught, an 18 year old senior at Greenon HS in Enon, Ohio, already has both the all-time Freshman and Sophomore high school national records in the 3,000m walk. So, he was bound and determined to break the Senior record of 12:44.81 held by New Jersey’s Zach Pollinger since 2004. But his ultimate goal was the All-Time high school best of 12:34.6. That record has been held by 2004 Olympian Kevin Eastler, of Mt Blue, Maine, since his junior year in high school in 1995.

The 15 circuit grind of an indoor arena’s 200 meter track is always tough. And is more so on Friday night for Haught as 11 other athletes shared the oval. The 2016 USATF Junior National 10,000 meter champion went out aggressively with a 47 second first lap. By lap three he was finding himself in the second lane already lapping slower walkers. Haught’s unofficial split at 1600 meters was 6:37 and at 2k 8:17.

Racing the clock, the powerful striding Haught would finish in 12:29.98, breaking the All-time Ohio HS mark at 3,000 meters as well as the National HS record for Seniors at 3,000 meters. And, with jubilant post-race celebrations, he and teammates celebrated the downing of Kevin Eastler’s All-time High School record. That time of 12:29.98 now makes Haught the man, and the guy every new high school race walker will chase.

The fast pace set by Haught also helped a trio of young college athletes to new personal bests and automatic qualifiers to the NAIA Collegiate Indoor Track & Field Championship in Johnson City, Tennessee, March 2nd thru 4th. In second place was fast finishing AJ Gruttadauro, a freshman from Spring Arbor University in 13:20. Third place went to Australian Luke Jobson, a sophomore at West Virginia Tech, in 13:39. And Cornerstone University’s Sam Elmi had a 13:47.25 in 4th.

Two other HS athletes competed in the men’s race, senior Michael Belovich from Springfield Catholic Central and Sean Glaze, a freshman cross country teammate of Haught from Greenon HS in his first ever judged race.

Next up for both Haught and Ewert will be the 110th Annual Millrose Games in New York City on Saturday, February 11th. The meet is world renowned and attracts top athletes from across the USA and from around the globe. The Susan Rudin USA 1 Mile Race Walk National Championship Race for women will be the third event on the schedule. Defending Champ for the women is Maria Michta, a two-time Olympian who was one of the top finishers in Rio last summer. Haught will be competing in the Susan Rudin USA 1 Mile Race Walk National Champions for men about an hour later at 1:13 pm. Three-time national champion Johnathan Hallman from South Carolina is considered the pre-race favorite.

1) Taylor Ewert (Southwest Ohio TC) 14:37.57
2) Bailey Brogan (Cornerstone Univ.) 15:58.52
3) Niki Worsham (Rio Grande Univ.) 16:51.19
4) Jessie Langmeyer (Cornerstone Univ.) 16:59.53
5) Brooke Owens (Cornerstone Univ.) 19:43.17
6) Joyce Prohaska (unattached - Ohio) 20:44.44
7) Barb Hensley (Southwest Ohio TC) 24:07.64

1) Cameron Haught (Southwest Ohio TC) 12:29.98
2) Anthony (AJ) Gruttadauro (Spring Arbor Univ.) 13:20.21
3) Luke Jobson (West Virgina Tech) 13:39.56
4) Sam Elmi (Cornerstone Univ.) 13:47.25
5) Joel Pfahler (unattached - Ohio) 13:50.51
6) David Swarts (Pegasus AC) 13:54.49
7) Jason Rabie (Cornerstone Univ.) 14:10.71
8) Jacob Benson (Cornerstone Univ.) 15:08.05
9) Omar Nash Southwest Ohio TC) 15:36.72
10) Michael Belovich (Southwest Ohio TC) 16:52.06
11) Sean Glaze (unattached - Ohio) 17:10.44
12) Vince Peters (Chicago Walkers) 19:01.87

Thank you to Vince Peters for this submission.