Reams, Moore hurdle to All-Ohio track honors

Belpre's Tojzae Reams receives his All-Ohio medal after placing eighth in the Division III 300 hurdles at Saturday's state track meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Photo by Jordan Holland.

COLUMBUS — Travis Moore and Tojzae Reams have been tough to beat in the 300 meter hurdles this year.

The two seniors closed out their prep careers in style Saturday, with Belpre’s Reams placing eighth in Division III (40.77) and Marietta’s Moore finishing seventh in Division I (38.80).

The duo became Washington County’s only 2017 All-Ohio track honorees. Warren sophomore Erin Bogard was 12th in the D2 pole vault (10 feet) while Morgan’s Jasmine Penrod was 13th in the 800 (2:22.88) to round out the local competitors.

For Reams, his place on the podium was well earned after missing out by one spot a year ago.

“It feels pretty good,” said Reams, who finished seventh in Friday’s preliminaries.

Marietta High's Travis Moore clears a hurdle during the 300 hurdles finals at Saturday's state meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Moore finished in 38.80 to place seventh in Division I. Photo by Jordan Holland.

“I didn’t think I had it locked up. At first when I was running, I was feeling like a top three, kind of. But then I started to stumble on the last few hurdles. I was like, ‘Oh man, I might actually not even get top eight,’ because I started clipping hurdles. The last one left a giant streak up my leg. I thought I was going to get ninth again like last year.”

But not this time. Reams, who finished .98 seconds behind seventh place Josh Kuhn of Wayne Trace, had .82 seconds between himself and ninth place Kohl Campbell of Barnesville. Reams’ finish gave the Golden Eagles an All-Ohio representative in back-to-back years, as Cray Sistrunk placed fifth in the 800 in 2016.

Reams had a message for future thinclads with aspirations of making All-Ohio

“I’ll be real — my freshman and sophomore year, I kind of slacked off,” he said. “My junior year is when it finally started to kick in like, high school’s almost over. I put in a lot of hard work and dedication this year. To all the underclassmen, put in the work early on.”

Moore suffered an early hiccup in his race, but recovered nicely down the stretch to give the Tigers their first all-stater in track since 2012.

“When I got to the first hurdle, I went over it with the opposite leg that I usually do, and I hit it with my back leg,” explained Moore, who said he was aiming for a top-five finish. “That was when I was like, I’ve got to hit every hurdle perfect to be able to compete still. I was just hoping after that to get back up there with everybody because that slowed me down a lot.”

He got it back and then some, edging out eighth place Joshua Byers-Mason (38.96) of Trotwood-Madison and breezing by ninth place Drake Hickman (39.37) of Northmont.

“I just had to get up and catch somebody,” he said. “I knew I had to pick it up.”

Moore kept a consistent pace through the last three races of his high school career, posting a 38.83 at regionals, 38.73 in Friday’s prelims and 38.80 Saturday. He handled the pressure that comes with the state meet well.

“It was real nerve-racking, especially with all the kids around,” he said. “All the times are so close and you just have to run a really good race to compete. There was a lot of nerves, but it felt great.”

Moore, also a football and basketball standout, was proud to be able to stand on the podium and bring back some hardware to his hometown.

“It’s awesome,” said Moore, who gave a shoutout to MHS baseball player Turner Hill, an All-Ohioan himself. “It feels great to be able to do that and join Turner. Even though he’s two-time, it’s still fun to be up there with him.”

Tough luck kept Bogard from reaching the podium.

The Warrior vaulter suffered an injury this week which prevented her from being at full strength. After hitting an impressive 11-7 at regionals, Bogard was unable to get past 10-0 Saturday to finish 12th.

“She hurt her ankle this week at practice, so we didn’t know where she would be,” said Warren girls track coach Sally Maddox. “She took a couple days off, but it was still bothering her (Saturday) morning. She was having trouble pushing off of it. Because of the ankle, it was changing her run and it was putting her off a little bit.”

It was her second straight appearance at the state meet.

“She’s disappointed she got injured this week,” Maddox said. “She’d have been pushing for the top four or five spots for sure with what she did last week (at regionals).

“We knew it might be a problem, but you’ve got to come up here and try. Right now she’s upset, but she’ll be back.”