Howell Qualifies For State In Long Jump

St. Marys’ Ty Howell competes in boys long jump on Thursday at the Division II Regional Track and Field Meet in Piqua.
Sports Editor

For a first-year track athlete, qualifying at state is quite the feat.

And junior Ty Howell did just that.

After being one of the key players for the St. Marys baseball team the last two seasons, the third Howell sibling transitioned to track and field this spring and the decision has paid off.

With his best jump of 21 feet, 11.25 inches, Howell placed second on Thursday at the Division III Regional Track and Field Meet in Piqua to qualify him to the state meet next week at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

And that decision to go out for track this year was a simple one.

"Football is my main sport so I wanted to do something that would help me out and I thought track was my best sport to go into to help me out," he said. 

Howell becomes the first Roughrider to qualify in long jump since Dakota McVety in 2016. He also surpassed McVety's regional mark of 21 feet, 8.75 inches. He will compete at 9:30 p.m. next Friday.

Howell said his goal at Columbus will be to break the school record of 22 feet, 2.5 inches held by John Koenig from 1986.

"Coming in as a junior and first year in track, I didn't really expect it, but right now, it feels pretty good," he said when asked how it felt to be called a state qualifier. 

What is more impressive is how Howell is able to compete and get better with a tweaked hamstring.

Howell confirmed that he tweaked in at the Eaton Invitational April 18, but he still competed in the boys 4x100- and 4x200-meter relays as well as the 400-meter dash and, of course, long jump.

And since that tweak, he has only gotten better.

At the Laker Invitational at Indian Lake High School, Howell won long jump with a leap of 20-00.50 May 3 and claimed the Western Buckeye League title five days later with his then-best leap of the season of 20 feet, 11 inches, eclipsing McVety's old mark of 20 feet, 10 inches.

His season continued one week later at Defiance with a fourth-place jump of 21 feet, 3.25 inches — a goal he wanted to meet that day, which was 21 feet.

He then bested that Thursday on his first jump of the evening as he entered the day with the 11th-best seed in the competition — but left Piqua as the second-best jumper — only Toledo Central Catholic's Randy Williams jumped farther.

"My mentality was trying to get 22 because the top kids that made it here were in the 22s so we knew that that is where we had to get to," Howell said. "That's what I was hoping for."

Now he'll have another week to try for that record, even with a bad hamstring.

"I don't know," Howell said with a smile when asked how he has been able to compete the way he has with the hamstring. "A lot of therapy. Everyday when I'm in school, I'm just icing and heating it and stretching it out."

Howell was not the only Roughrider to compete Thursday.

St. Marys was also represented in the girls 4x200- and 4x100-meter relays, which both placed 10th — ending their season.

With the top eight times advancing to the finals Saturday, the Roughriders' 4x100 team of Lilly Ankerman, Jordan Egbert, Rebecca Dominguez and Allison Jacobs missed the cut by 0.29 with their time of 52.27. The 4x200 team of Ankerman, Egbert, Lydia Will and Jacobs finished with a time of 1:49.60 — .70 shy of qualifying for the finals.