JFK’s focus needs to be on regionals

John F. Kennedy’s boys track and field team shouldn’t take Friday as a setback.

The Eagles should see the moments after the Division III Springfield District track and field meet as motivation.

JFK’s boys team went through a gamut of emotions following the 4×400-meter relay.


The Eagles ran an unofficial 3 minutes, 24.4 seconds. It would’ve been one of the fastest Division III times in the state.

Ten minutes later an ominous call came over the loudspeaker, “Would the John F. Kennedy boys coach please come down to the officials’ tent?”

It’s similar to a call to the principal’s office. No good ever comes from that.

It was ruled by the Ohio High School Athletic Association officials that one of the JFK runners had a lane violation, going outside of his lane more than the allotted three times. The team was disqualified.

JFK coach Robert Andrews tried to appeal the ruling that night, but with no success.

It’s not the first time, nor the last time, this will happen. But, it hurts JFK’s chances at a possible team state championship.

Take McDonald’s girls 4×800 relay team in 2002. The four runners that year thought they placed second at the Division III Navarre Regional. The top four in each final go to state.

Ten minutes later there was that call every coach dreads. Like JFK on Friday, the Blue Devils quartet was disqualified. This was for stepping on the inside white line separating the grass from the all-weather track.

Unlike the 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400 where runners are mandated to stay in their lanes, runners in the 4×800 can crowd down to the inside lane, but cannot step on the inside white line more than three times.

But, in 2002, something good came about of McDonald’s disqualification. Badger’s 4×800 team, which took fifth, moved to fourth and went all the way to state.

Nothing good came of Friday’s ruling, just anger, sadness and disbelief.

That said, the Eagles have two options. Let those aforementioned emotions fester and destroy your season, or channel that into this week’s events at the Division III Navarre Regional.

JFK still has a strong contingent at this week’s regional at Fairless High School.

Chad Zallow has the fastest district times in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles.

Carl Zallow has the quickest district time in the 100.

And, the team of Rob Seger, both Zallows and Zach Watt has the fastest time in the 4×200 relay. This is an event JFK has won twice at state in 2004 and ’07.

Watt in the 400 and the 4×100 relay (Seger, Mark Fronk, Royal Smith and Carl Zallow) have the third-fastest times.

Let’s not forget about the Eagles girls, led by prolific hurdler Morgan Rice.

She has the best times coming into the 100 and 300 hurdles.

Natalie Ambrosy advanced in the 100, as well as the 4×200 (Ambrosy, Natalie Hoso, Nina Macali and Rice), the 4×100 (Autumn Howard, Macali, Hoso and Ambrosy) and 4×400 (Ambrosy, Hoso, Macali and Rice).

It’s up to JFK to see what it does this week at regionals.