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Written by Rod O'Donnell on 26 July 2017.

Seven is a lucky number, but luck had nothing to do with the number of outstanding and positive accomplishments that occurred this spring in the sport of track and field.

1)  The times in this year’s boys’ 1600 at the OHSAA State Championship Meet were impressive. In the past 10 years, the time of 4:14 or faster has been achieved 64 times. 25% of those times were produced in 2017. In fact, in the Division I race, the 12th place time was an outstanding 4:14.7.

2)  The Columbus Dispatch recently recognized 220 of the area schools’ student-athletes. 83% of these outstanding young men and women were multi-sport athletes. 56% were members of their schools’ track teams.

3)  The OHSAA sponsored an official junior high state track championship meet at Lancaster High School. The future of track and field looks very bright, considering the number of participants and the high quality of performances. What a tremendous way to promote our sport to a very important segment of young athletes.

4)  For the first time in many years, no Division I universities announced that they would drop their track programs.

5)  The quality of high school track was reflected at the Arcadia Invitational 3200 meter race, where 25 runners covered the distance under 9:00. The 9th place finisher ran 8:48.84. American Fork High School set a national record in the 4 x 1600 relay in a time of 16:41.30, averaging just over 4:10 per runner. Their splits were 4:25, 4:08, 4:05, and 4:02.

6)  The participation rate in our sport continues to be impressive at many schools. At Olentangy Orange, with a student enrollment of 1,917, the track team has 262 members. Numbers at neighboring Olentangy Liberty, a slightly larger school, show 290 athletes are taking part in our sport. Kudos to Orange Coach Adam Walters, and to other coaches who recruit, coach and organize large programs.

7)  Congratulations to the universities of the Mid-American Conference. The six remaining men’s programs and twelve women’s teams produced 10 First Team All-Americans, three on the Second Team, and six athletes who earned Honorable Mention honors. This included National Champion Danniel Thomas from Kent State who placed first in the shot put, and University of Akron’s Matt Ludwig who captured the pole vault title.


The 2017 track season can be summarized in three words:



Yours in Track,

Rod O’Donnell


Read more of Coach O'Donnell's articles on

Attending a Running Camp -

Can we do anything else to alienate sports fans -

Keeping Track - National Governing Body for High School Sports (NFHS)  - 

 Keeping Track - Cross Country -

Keeping Track - Frank Shorter -

KEEPING TRACK, Two Iconic Coaches-

KEEPING TRACK -  Caldwell Story -

KEEPING TRACK - Furman Elite Training Group -

Keeping Track - 2 Divisions for 120 Lacrosse teams?

Boy's Division II and Division III -

Boy's Division I -


KEEPING TRACK - Football and Track Athletes -

 The Ohio High School Athletic Association State Cross-Country Championships -

Cross Country -

 Track Faces Challenges that could have adverse effects thus causing severe damage -

Marketing Track & Field -

Student Athlete’s Questions -

The Need to Speak Up -

A new book by John McDonnell -

KEEPING TRACK - From September-October 2013 print RUNOHIO -

Random Thoughts -

Another Division I institution has dropped its men’s track program -

 Ohio University Athletic Department's Worst Decision -

Life Lessons from Cross Country -

Ten Pledges for Cross Country Coaches -

London Olympics -

 Improving as a Coach –

You Only Go Around Once -

Dear Jesse Owens –

West Virginia State Cross Country Championship –

SPIRE Institute -

Why is the OHSAA Treating Cross Country Different than All of the Other Sponsored Sports?


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