Howell Takes Ninth At State Long Jump

St. Marys’ Ty Howell competes in boys long jump on Friday in the state track and field meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Sports Editor

Ty Howell peaked at the right time to qualify for state and although he got by at the skin of his teeth once he got there, he still made history.

With his final jump in the second flight just enough to advance him to the finals of Division II long jump at day one of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Track and Field Meet, the junior fouled all three times in the finals to finish ninth on Friday.

However, Howell’s finish is the best by a Roughrider at the state competition in long jump in school history, according to limited OHSAA records.

Not bad for a first-year track athlete.

Howell started slow in his first trip to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium with his first two jumps of 19 feet, 10.35 inches and 20 feet, 6 inches before making his best leap of 20 feet, 10.75 inches. He beat out Chagrin Falls’ Mick Lawrence’s jump of 20 feet, 7.50 inches to place him in the finals.

"Ty making it to the finals was big for him to build on for next year," Roughriders coach Rob Cisco said. "If he can make it again next year, he'll be a veteran with today's experience under his belt."

Cisco said Howell told him that the sand felt powdery, which was an adjustment he had to make. But Howell was just off on his footing in the finals, fouling all three times to finish ninth.

The first-year track athlete entered Friday seeded tied for fourth place with his best jump of the season at 21 feet, 11.25 — the personal record he set in last week’s Division II regional meet in Piqua — besting his previous mark by eight inches.

Howell became the first Roughrider to qualify in long jump since Dakota McVety in 2016. He surpassed McVety's regional mark of 21 feet, 8.75 inches. Howell also topped McVety at state, beating McVerty’s 12th-place jump of 20 feet, 6.50 inches.

Last week, Howell said his goal at Columbus would be to break the school record of 22 feet, 2.5 inches held by John Koenig from 1986. That record still stands, at least for another year.

"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 was able to compete and get better as the season wore on with a tweaked hamstring.

Howell confirmed that he tweaked it 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 only got better.

At the Laker Invitational at Indian Lake High School, Howell won with a leap of 20-00.50 May 3 and claimed the Western Buckeye League title in the event 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 last Thursday on his first jump of the evening as he entered the day with the 11th-best seed in regional competition — but left Piqua as the second-best jumper — only Toledo Central Catholic's Randy Williams jumped farther. Williams placed third at state on Friday.